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Bush, Blair Discuss Iraq at White House


President Bush met at the White House with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss the situation in Iraq.

Their meeting comes one day after a bipartisan panel of experts known as the Iraq Study Group said the current U.S. policy in Iraq is not working.

Mr. Blair has been a staunch supporter of President Bush and the war in Iraq, and Britain is an important ally of the U.S. there. But the British leader said Wednesday he agrees with incoming U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that the war is not being won.

The 10-member Iraq Study Group described the situation in Iraq as "grave and deteriorating." It recommended that the U.S. military change its primary mission from combat to support, pulling out most U.S. combat troops by early 2008.

The panel released its recommendations Wednesday. It also called for a five-fold increase in U.S. forces training Iraqi forces.

Former congressman Lee Hamilton and former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker co-chaired the group. The report also called for a new diplomatic offensive to involve Iran and Syria, and a revival of efforts towards a broader Middle East peace.

Mr. Bush said the report gives interesting proposals and presents a very tough assessment of the situation in Iraq. He said he will take the proposals seriously.

Mr. Bush said the report gives interesting proposals and presents a very tough assessment of the situation in Iraq. He said he will take the proposals seriously.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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