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Bush Reaffirms Commitment to Iraq


President Bush says with the change of control of the U.S. Congress, he is open to suggestions from opposition Democrats and others as long as they help ensure victory and a stable democratic government in Iraq.

The president and other U.S. officials tried Thursday to assure Iraqis of the continued U.S. committment to their country, where violence continued with at least 16 people killed in attacks in and around Baghdad.

In one of the bloodiest incidents, police say a car bomb killed at least six people in central Baghdad.

The outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, acknowledged in a speech Thursday that things have not gone well recently in Iraq.

Speaking in the central U.S. state of Kansas, Rumsfeld called the invasion of Iraq three years ago an enormous success. But he said phase two has not been going "well enough or fast enough."

President Bush announced Rumsfeld's resignation one day after the congressional elections that resulted in opposition Democrats controlling both houses of the U.S. legislature.

Meanwhile, in London, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said Iraq is at a "critical juncture" and risks descending into further chaos and violence.

Speaking Thursday at a think tank, the Royal United Services Institute, she said British troops will stay in Iraq as long as the Baghdad government wants them there.