Despite two major challenges to the U.S. from Iraq on Friday — in the form of a breakdown in negotiations between the two nations over long-term plans for U.S. involvement there and Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s renewed call to arms against U.S. forces in Iraq — President Bush maintained a positive tone while discussing American-Iraqi relations on the Parisian leg of his current European tour.

The Washington Post:

“If I were a betting man, we’ll reach agreement with the Iraqis,” Bush said. “You know, we’re there at their invitation; they’re a sovereign nation.”

Bush said the United States would “work hard to accommodate their desires,” but also said that “we believe that a strategic relationship with Iraq is important” both for the United States and the region.

Also on Saturday, Iranian leaders rejected a package of economic, technological and political incentives presented by the European Union’s top diplomat in exchange for a suspension of uranium enrichment activities. The package was finalized last month by Germany and the five members of the U.N. Security Council: the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

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