For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 25, 2006
Fact Sheet: Prime Minister Maliki's Meeting with President Bush
Today, President Bush Met With Prime Minister Maliki And Discussed The Agenda Of Iraq's Unity Government. Prime Minister Maliki is the leader of a government chosen by the Iraqi people through free and fair elections. He has a vision and a strategy to reduce violence and to rebuild his country. He has laid out a comprehensive plan for the future of his free nation. Iraq's leaders recognize their challenges, and they have identified their priorities. The President reaffirmed America's commitment to support Iraq's constitutional democracy and to help Prime Minister Maliki's government succeed.
Prime Minister Maliki's Agenda For Iraq's Unity Government
Since Taking Office, Prime Minister Maliki Has Focused Iraq's Unity Government On Immediate Actions In Three Key Areas:
1. Security: Improving security by both military and political actions; securing Baghdad; eliminating armed gangs; and promoting national reconciliation and the rule of law. The Prime Minister understands the new dimensions of the current problems, and he is working to crack down on the terrorists and death squads that are fueling violence in Iraq.
2. Governance And Economic Reform: Immediately building economic and government capacity; increasing production of oil and electricity; and building a foundation for prosperity.
3. International Engagement: Engaging the nations of the region and the world in Iraq's democratic and economic development.
Security In Baghdad
Terrorists And Extremists Continue To Destroy Innocent Life In Iraq, Yet They Have Not Shaken The Determination Of The Iraqi People To Build A Free Country. The Iraqi and Coalition strategy is to remain on the offensive, including in Baghdad.
Under The Prime Minister's Leadership, Coalition And Iraqi Leaders Are Modifying Operations To Help Bring Greater Security To The Iraqi Capital. Coalition and Iraqi forces will secure individual neighborhoods, ensure the existence of an Iraqi security presence in them, and gradually expand the security presence as Iraqi citizens help them root out those instigating violence. The plan will involve embedding more U.S. military police with Iraqi police units to make them more effective.
To Support This Plan, Additional American Troops And Iraqi Security Personnel Will Be Deployed To Baghdad In The Coming Weeks From Other Areas Of The Country. President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki agreed that Iraqi Security Forces need better tools to do their job - and we are working to equip them with greater mobility, firepower, and protection.
Transition To Iraqi Civilian Control Iraqi Security Forces Are Growing In Strength And Capability, And Recently A Key Province In Southern Iraq Was Transferred To Full Iraqi Civilian Control. We expect other provinces to make this transition later this year.
Iraqi Leaders Initiative
President Bush And Prime Minister Maliki Discussed Several New Initiatives They Are Undertaking To Create Opportunity For The Iraqi People, Including The Iraqi Leaders Initiative. Starting next summer, the Iraqi Leaders Initiative will bring to America 200 high school and university students from all regions of Iraq and all sectors of Iraqi society to study at local institutions and build personal friendships with the people of our country.
The International Compact For Iraq/Economic Development
President Bush And Prime Minister Maliki Discussed Prime Minister Maliki's Proposal For An International Compact For Iraq, Which Is Expected To Be Signed Later This Year. The Compact will outline Iraq's commitment to specific economic reforms - and the international community's commitment to support those reforms. The United States will work hard to encourage other countries to support the compact, and provide assistance to help Iraq's new democracy succeed.
Iraq's Economy Has Made Real Progress In The First Two Months Of The New Unity Government. Most macroeconomic indicators are in positive territory, and Iraq has realized its highest oil production and export levels since before the war. Exports are averaging 1.47 million barrels per day for the year, and 1.60 million per day in June. Many challenges remain in these areas, but real progress is being made under the Prime Minister's leadership.
Prime Minister Maliki Has Laid Out His Plans For New Investment Laws, Anti-Corruption Measures, Restored Financial Relationships With Gulf States, And Initiatives To Restore Essential Services Through Investment And Reform - And He Is Following Up. Prime Minister Maliki's efforts include directing each cabinet member to establish a comptroller and to submit ethics and financial disclosure agreements. He has submitted an investment law to parliament, which he expects to be enacted before the end of this month.
Prime Minister Maliki Is Also Reaching Out To The International Community To Make Iraq A Reliable Economic Partner. He has visited Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait to encourage them to invest in Iraq. He will visit the UN this week to further discussions on an International Compact for Iraq.
Lebanon And Regional Issues
The President Appreciated Hearing Prime Minister Maliki's Perspective On The Situation In Lebanon. President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki agree on the urgency of alleviating humanitarian distress in Lebanon and the importance of strengthening the Lebanese government and supporting the Lebanese people.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Maliki Formally Named The National Council For The Reconciliation And National Dialogue Plan. This Council is made up of 30 leaders from all major religious and political groups and will implement the reconciliation plan that Maliki announced on June 25. Implementing this plan will be an ongoing effort that the United States and the United Nations are prepared to support.
# # #