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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Al-Sadr Tells Maliki: "Don't Meet Bush" - Meeting Is Cancelled

And, I think the White House is spinning it now. You be the judge.

This morning the report came out that al-Sadr had threatened to pull his members out of Maliki's Parliamentary coalition (via Washington Post):


AMMAN (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki flew to Jordan for crisis talks with President Bush on Wednesday, prompting a radical Shi'ite faction to suspend participation in his government in anger. Iranian-backed cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who leads the Mehdi Army militia, was making good on a threat to boycott parliament and Maliki's coalition if the premier met the U.S. president.


And this afternoon, the story is being told this way (via AP):


AMMAN, Jordan - President Bush's high-profile meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday was canceled in a stunning turn of events after disclosure of U.S. doubts about the Iraqi leader's capabilities and a political boycott in Baghdad protesting his attendance.

Instead of two days of talks, Bush and al-Maliki will have breakfast and a single meeting followed by a news conference on Thursday morning, the White House said.The abrupt cancellation was an almost unheard-of development in the high-level diplomatic circles of a U.S. president, a king and a prime minister.

White House counselor Dan Bartlett denied that the delay was a snub by al-Maliki directed at Bush or was related to the leak of a memo written by White House National Security Adviser
Stephen Hadley questioning the prime minister's capacity for controlling violence in Iraq.


No, I don't think Bush did snub Maliki. I think Maliki snubbed Bush. What do you think?
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