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Bush in France for D-Day Commemorations - 2004-06-05


President Bush has arrived in France for celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the allied World War Two D-Day landings in Normandy.

Mr. Bush and French President Jacques Chirac will meet today (Saturday) at the Elysee Palace in Paris for talks expected to include discussions of a new draft United Nations Security Council resolution on Iraq

Earlier, in Rome, Mr. Bush appealed to a new generation of Europeans and Americans to pull together to help Iraq return to democracy.

Speaking after talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the president called the war against terror "the challenge of our time."

Mr. Berlusconi, a staunch supporter of the U.S. - led coalition in Iraq, urged quick passage of the draft resolution that seeks international cooperation in rebuilding the war-torn country.

Mr. Bush says he is confident the Council will adopt the resolution next week.

Italy has sent nearly three-thousand troops to Iraq -- the third largest contingent in the coalition force.

Mr. Bush said the U.S. - coalition will remain in Iraq after June 30th, when sovereignty is restored to an interim government, to help, in his words, "establish security, so that the Iraqi people can live their lives free of fear and so that democracy can take root."

The president is on a 3-day visit to Europe marking decisive events 60 years ago during World War Two, including the D-Day invasion by Allied forces, and the liberation of Rome.

Mr. Bush, Mr. Chirac and 15 other heads of state and government will appear together in Normandy Sunday to commemorate D-Day -- the enormous military operation on June 6th, 1944, that was crucial to the drive to end Nazi Germany's control over much of Europe.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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