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White House Reviews Liberia Options - 2003-07-03


The White House says no decision has been made on sending American troops to Liberia, stressing all options remain under review.

White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer is downplaying expectations for a quick announcement on Liberia.

He says there is an ongoing review of the situation, and emphasizes it will take some time before a decision is made. He says President Bush is handling the matter in, what he terms, a "deliberative manner."

The Bush administration is under pressure abroad to send troops to wartorn Liberia, which was founded by freed American slaves. Discussions on the best way to handle the issue have been going on at the highest levels behind closed doors. Meanwhile, in public, President Bush is putting pressure on Liberian President Charles Taylor to give up power.

During a brief session with reporters, Mr. Fleischer was asked what the United States will do if Mr. Taylor refuses to step down. He refused to answer directly, saying only that it is important for Charles Taylor to leave Liberia and leave quickly.

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