The future of Iraq is going to be a hot topic when the US President and British Prime Minister meet today. The talks follow the release of the Iraq Study Group report which says Washington’s strategy in the country is not working. Tony Blair who is now in the US, has been under fire back home for his staunch support of the administration. Blair is expected to urge George Bush to embrace a wider Middle East policy to help resolve the Iraq crisis. The bipartisan Iraq commission made 79 recommendations for changes in the war torn country – warning that the situation is grave and deteriorating. The group urges Bush to involve Syria and Iran in negotiations – suggestions he has so far rejected. For its part, Syria has said it finds the study group’s conclusions objective.
Democrats have by and large welcomed the findings, and Nancy Pelosi the incoming Congress leader is no exception: “First and foremost, I salute the working group, the Iraq working group, for agreeing that the present Bush policy in Iraq has been a failure and that everything sprang from that.” The report calls for an urgent diplomatic attempt to stabilise Iraq adding that the ability of the US to influence events there is diminishing.