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Bush to Hold Formal News Conference Tuesday - 2004-04-13

President Bush holds his first formal news conference of the year Tuesday (8:30pm EDT).

Spokesman Scott McClellan says Mr. Bush wants to give the American people an update on events in Iraq and plans for the future.

The president is sure to be asked about the recent rise in violence in Iraq and the prospects for an end to the unrest that has claimed so many coalition and Iraqi lives.

Mr. Bush is also likely to face questions about the independent commission investigating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. On Saturday, the White House released a top secret document demanded by the commission. It is an intelligence memo dealing with al-Qaida operations in the United States that was given to the president five weeks before the attacks.

Another issue expected to come up during the news conference is the Middle East peace process. The president said Monday he supports Israeli withdrawals from occupied territories, but they must be linked to plans to create a Palestinian state. He meets with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Wednesday.