President Bush to Hold Press Conference

It is scheduled for 9:45 am in the White House Rose Garden.

Here are some of the president’s comments:

“It was a pleasure to meet face to face with the prime minister…I saw first hand the strength of his character and his deep determination to succeed.”

“I also had the pleasure of meeting with people who work for the US government, our embassy staff, the intelligence community. I had the chance to thank them. Theirs is a tough job, and they’re far away from home and obviously they miss their families and it was an honor to say to them I appreciate their hard work and so do the American people. And I met with our troops. I had the chance to congratulation those that were responsible for bring Zarqawi to justice.”

“I told the PM how impressed I was to meet the team he assembled…I appreciate very much the agenda he’s laid out. He’s got a plan to succeed. And I appreciated their determination, not just his determination, but their cabinet’s determination to succeed.”

“The prime minister briefed us on immediate steps he’s taken in three key areas: to improve security; to build up the Iraqi economy so the Iraqi people can see real progress, real economic progress; he’s reaching out to the international community to help secure support for this new government.”

“‘Operation Together Forward’ started this morning. This operation is a joint effort to restore security and rule of law to high risk areas in the capital city. It will be carried out by some 26,000 Iraqi soldiers, some 23,000 Iraqi police, backed up by over 7,200 coalition forces.”

The president continued to explain how the members of the US cabinet will be working their counterparts in the Iraqi cabinet. He also said that it is in America’s best interest that Iraq succeed.

Update: Read the transcript here.

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