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Bush Makes Surprise Visit to Baghdad


President Bush is in Iraq for an unannounced visit to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top officials.

Mr. Bush landed at Baghdad airport Tuesday and took a six-minute helicopter ride to the heavily fortified Green Zone.

Officials say Mr. Maliki was only told of the visit five minutes before he met the U.S. president. Mr. Bush also plans to address U.S. forces during his visit -- his second to Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Before the trip was made public, Mr. Bush had been expected to meet by video conference with Iraqi leaders Tuesday from his retreat in Maryland outside Washington, D.C.

On Monday, Mr. Bush discussed with advisors how to help Iraq deal with security, economic and energy problems. He also vowed the United States will stand by Iraq as its new defense minister assesses the situation.

He also urged Iraq's neighbors to do more to help in its reconstruction, and he said he will push nations to make good on 13 billion dollars in aid they have promised.

The president also warned that the successor to al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is going to be, as he put it, "on our list to bring to justice." Zarqawi was killed last week in a U.S. air strike in Iraq.

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