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Bush, Blair to Meet in Belfast - 2003-04-04


President Bush will travel to Northern Ireland Monday for a meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The men will discuss the war in Iraq and efforts to end the violence in Northern Ireland.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says the meetings near Belfast will focus primarily on fighting in Iraq. "They will talk about the status of the ongoing military operation," he said. "They will talk about the humanitarian relief efforts. They'll talk about reconstruction. They will talk about the role of the United Nations."

Prime Minister Blair is pushing for an active U.N. role in a post-war Iraq. The White House says there will be a role for the United Nations, but it will be primarily humanitarian.

The president and prime minister will meet with Northern Ireland's political leaders to discuss the peace process there ahead of the anniversary of the 1998 Good Friday accords which have led to power sharing between Catholics and Protestants.

Mr. Fleischer says the two leaders will also discuss their so-called "road map" for Middle East peace, which would set a timetable for power sharing between Israelis and Palestinians with the aim of creating a separate Palestinian state.

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