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Bush to announce new Iraq strategy next week

The US president did not give a specific date or venue for the announcement and said that consultations were continuing.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2007 13:32 IST

United States President George W Bush confirmed widespread reports that he would announce a new strategy next week for the US-led war in Iraq.

Bush late on Thursday said he would make an address to reveal the revised war plans, nearly four years after the US-led invasion to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.

His administration has promised a new approach for Iraq since mid-November.

A rising tide of sectarian violence has gripped Iraq, while the death toll for the US military has topped 3,000 troops.

Bush did not give a specific date or venue for the announcement. He said that consultations were continuing on the plan.

"I'll be ready to outline a strategy that will help the Iraqis achieve the objective of a country that can govern, sustain and defend itself sometime next week.

I've still got consultations to go through," Bush said in a White House press conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Saddam was hanged on Saturday as the Iraqi government formed in 2006 carried out the death sentence handed down by an Iraqi court for a 1982 massacre of Shia Muslims in the town of Dujail.

"A horrific chapter in Iraqi history has been closed," Bush said, "and now we're talking about a more hopeful chapter for the Iraqi people."

Bush is conducting a review of his strategy in Iraq amid concerns that the country is on the verge of a full-blown civil war.

Public support for the war has dwindled and cost Bush's centre-right Republican Party its control of Congress in November elections.

The White House has refused to confirm reports that Bush is considering temporarily adding 20,000-40,000 US troops to the existing force of 140,000.

"I will want to make sure that the mission is clear and specific and can be accomplished," said the president.