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Bush Interviews Troops in Iraq by Video Conference

President Bush has thanked U.S. and Iraqi troops for working to ensure a safe voting environment as Iraqis vote on a new constitution Saturday.

Mr. Bush conducted a video conference Thursday with members of the U.S. Army's 42nd Infantry Division in Tikrit, Iraq, to discuss preparations for Saturday's constitutional referendum.

First Lieutenant Greg Murphy told the president that Iraqi troops have taken the lead in security preparations for the vote. He said conditions were different in the January elections for a transitional government, when coalition troops controlled security.

Captain David Williams says Iraqis are ready and eager to vote on the constitution. He says voter registration in north-central Iraq is up 17 percent, which translates to about 400,000 new voters.

Approval of the constitution on Saturday would clear the way for national elections in December.

Some information for this report provided by AP.