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Bush, Aznar Discuss Mideast Issues - 2003-04-17


President Bush spoke with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar Thursday to discuss Europe's role in rebuilding Iraq.

President Bush spoke by telephone with the Spanish leader from his Texas ranch where the president and first lady are spending the Easter weekend.

White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan says the 20-minute conversation was a "warm call between close allies and friends" to discuss coalition efforts in Iraq, Europe's role in rebuilding the country and the state of a Middle East peace plan for power-sharing between Israelis and Palestinians.

Prime Minister Aznar urged President Bush to release that peace plan when they met at his Texas ranch in February. President Bush says he will announce the plan when a new Palestinian Prime Minister has appointed his cabinet.

Along with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Spanish leader was one of the president's biggest allies in the war in Iraq. Spain spoke out at the United Nations in support of military action in the face of a threatened French veto which ultimately led to the withdrawal of a resolution backing the invasion which toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.