Flash: US President Bush to visit Belfast on Monday
US President George W Bush will meet the British Prime Minister
Tony Blair in Ireland next week.
The two are expected to meet in the Belfast area to discuss the
war in Iraq, the Middle East and the peace process in Ireland,
White House officials said this evening.
Mr Bush will meet Mr Blair on Monday and Tuesday at a location
which was not revealed.
Mr Blair and the Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Mr Ahern are
due to hold discussions in the North next week in a renewed
effort to revive the peace process. They are expected to unveil
their plan for the 1998 implementation of the Good Friday
Agreement on Thursday.
"The trip will focus on the operations in Iraq. They will talk
about the humanitarian relief efforts. They will talk about
reconstruction. They will talk about the role of the United
Nations," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters
today in a briefing on the war in Iraq.
They will also talk about the Middle East, it has been reported.
Blair has been urging Bush to move quickly on unveiling a "road
map" for creation of a Palestinian state.
The two leaders are also to discuss the Irish peace process, but
it is not clear yet if Taoiseach Ahern or representatives of the
North's political parties will also hold discussions with Mr Bush
during his visit.
"The president's going to get a first-hand insight and update on
the incredible progress being made on the Northern Ireland peace
process as well as discuss other efforts in the world to bring
peace and security to the Middle East," a U.S. administration