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Bush and Polish PM Meet to Discuss Iraq - 2004-08-09


President Bush and Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka have met at the White House to review a broad variety of issues, including NATO, the Middle East, Iraq and bilateral relations.

Mr. Bush praised Poland for its role in the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq saying Polish troops are doing a great job.

Poland has previously said it expects to withdraw a number of its soldiers from the country early next year, after elections for a transitional Iraqi government. Mr. Belka told reporters a decision will depend on how the Iraqi situation is developing.

Meanwhile, the Polish news agency PAP says Polish troops in Iraq have handed over control of two provinces to U.S. forces. This includes the area of Najaf, the scene of fierce fighting between Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen and U.S.and Iraqi government forces.

Poland commands a 6,000-strong multinational force in Iraq.

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