President Bush is set to travel to Jordan next week for a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The event might be a bit uncomfortable for the pair, now that the Iraqi government has responded to the flirtations of Iran and Syria.


White House spokesman Tony Snow said Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki would continue consultations on how to improve security in Iraq.

Mr. Snow’s statement said discussions would focus on the process of handing over responsibility for security to the Iraqis and the role of the region in supporting Iraq.

The meetings come against a background of continuing sectarian violence in Iraq but also efforts to involve Syria and Iran more in Iraq’s future.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani visits Tehran this weekend, while during [Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem’s] visit to Baghdad, Iraq and Syria announced they were to restore diplomatic relations after a break of more than 20 years.

Mr. Bush has come under more pressure to include Iran and Syria in Iraq diplomacy following heavy defeats for his Republicans in mid-term elections on 7 November.

  • Bush heads to Jordan
  • Iraq to hold security meeting with Iran
  • Iraq and Syria restore relations
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