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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 17, 2004

Press Gaggle with Claire Buchan
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Ridley Park, Pennsylvania

1:08 P.M. EDT

MS. BUCHAN: Let me start and give you a little bit about the President's day today. He had his usual intelligence and FBI briefings. He then spoke with Prime Minister Blair and Prime Minister Berlusconi. And that was this morning. Prime Minister Blair was visiting with Prime Minister Berlusconi in Italy, and the call was part of our continuing diplomatic contacts with our allies and coalition partners. And the three discussed Iraq, including the Iraqi National Conference that's currently underway in Baghdad.

Then the President held an NSC meeting. He's now en route to Ridley, Pennsylvania. The Freedom Corps greeter there will be Tom Shaffer, who works for Boeing at the Ridley Park facility, where the President will be visiting. He has been a volunteer for four years with the Race Against Drugs, which is a national drug awareness and prevention program for kids.

The President will then participate in a tour of the Boeing Ridley Park plant. He will then make remarks at the plant, continuing to talk about our efforts to make America safer and make the world more peaceful.

The President will then fly to West Virginia, where the Freedom Corps greeter will be Marge Ruth, who, for the past eight years, has been a volunteer with the Literacy Volunteers of the Eastern Panhandle, where she helps people with their GED preparation.

The President will then participate in a rally in -- at the Hedgesville High School. And with that, I'll take your questions.

Q How long was the phone call this morning?

MS. BUCHAN: It was about 10 minutes, a little less.

Q Is this a campaign event?

MS. BUCHAN: Yes, all of them today.

Q What's the reaction to Sharon's plan to put a thousand more settlers in the West Bank?

MS. BUCHAN: We've seen those reports, and our embassy in Israel has been in touch with the government and has asked for some details. That's where it stands at the moment.

Q Will he talk about Airbus subsidies?

MS. BUCHAN: I don't believe that's in his remarks. But stay tuned; he may. But I --

Q -- still intend to move ahead with doing something --

MS. BUCHAN: It stands where he left it last week.

Q Did he discuss pulling the troops, the troop redeployment with Blair and Berlusconi?

MS. BUCHAN: The specifics I have from the conversation are as I gave them to you, that he really talked about Iraq, particularly the Iraqi National Conference.

Getting very close to the ground here. Okay, thank you all.

END 1:12 P.M. EDT

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