President Bush says he is hopeful a new U.N. resolution on Iraq will pass the Security Council. He is downplaying objections raised by France and Germany.
The president said it is time for Security Council members to put their past differences on Iraq aside and work together "Let us not get caught up in past bickering. Let us move forward. A free Iraq is in everybody's interest," he said.
The administration's resolution is designed to broaden the role of the U.N. in Iraq, and clear the way for more countries to contribute troops and money. But France and Germany say it falls far short of what is needed.
They want the U.N. to supervise the political transformation of the country, and oversee civilian reconstruction efforts. The Bush administration says the coalition's Paul Bremer will remain in charge.
The president, speaking to reporters after a meeting with the prime minister of Kuwait, tried to portray the situation in a positive light and indicated some kind of compromise is possible. He said he is open to suggestions. "I don't think they are opposed to the resolution. I think you are putting words in their mouth and they may want to fine-tune a resolution," he said.
The president said Secretary of State Colin Powell will be going around the world to ask countries to contribute to peacekeeping and reconstruction in Iraq.
Mr. Bush was then asked about America's contribution and his request for $87 billion to fight the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. "It is important to spend that money. It is in our national interest that we spend it. A free and peaceful Iraq will save this country money in the long term," he said.
The legislation is expected to approve the request, but there have been calls from some Congressional Democrats to roll back recent cuts in federal taxes pushed by the president. Mr. Bush said he thinks that idea is "absurd."