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Bush braces for Iraq security policy report

US President George W Bush has got a preview of a high-powered commission's report on overhauling his Iraq strategy.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2006 04:46 IST

US President George W Bush has got a preview of a high-powered commission's report on overhauling his Iraq strategy, as the White House encouraged Baghdad to talk security with Iran and Syria.

Bush heard about "the direction" of the Iraq Study Group's conclusions from the panel's Republican co-chairman, US power-player James Baker, one day before he was to formal receiving its report, Bush spokesman Tony Snow said on Tuesday.

At the same time, Snow sought to puncture ballooning expectations about the report, saying other Iraq policy reviews were underway and that there was no sign of a major clash between the White House and the blue-ribbon panel.

"This is not something where everybody is tensing for a punch," said the spokesman.

Bush was to accept the congressionally created commission's non-binding recommendations at 1200 GMT on Tuesday and make a brief statement after an hour-long meeting with them, said Snow.

The report by Baker and Democratic former representative Lee Hamilton was also to be posted on the Internet and published by a major US publishing firm, Random House, as a 160-page book entitled "The Way Forward: A New Approach."

"It deserves a respectful look," said Snow. "We look upon this as an effort to be helpful to the administration and we're going to receive it in that spirit, and therefore we're going to give it a careful review."

Snow said he did not know whether Baker would bring a copy of the document, which will reportedly a call for a broader dialogue with Iran and Syria and a conditions-based phased withdrawal of almost all US combat troops by 2008.

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