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Bush, Blair to Discuss Iraq War During Camp David Summit - 2003-03-27

President Bush is meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss the fighting in Iraq and plans for rebuilding the country once the war is over.

The two leaders are meeting at the presidential retreat at Camp David, where Prime Minister Blair spent the night after a working dinner Wednesday.

White House officials say they will have a joint briefing on the fighting through a secure video link with coalition commanders in Washington, London, and military headquarters in Doha.

Britain is the biggest partner in the U.S.-led invasion to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and disarm his military.

Prime Minister Blair is expected to urge the president to give the United Nations a leading role in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq. Some senior members of the Bush Administration are mistrustful of the United Nations, after the Security Council failed to endorse this fight under threat of a French veto.

France, Russia, and China say President Bush and Prime Minister Blair should have given U.N. weapons inspectors more time to try to disarm Iraq peacefully.

Prime Minister Blair is to meet briefly with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York, before returning to London.