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Bush, Blair's Mideast Chat Caught On Open Mic.


Bush, Blair's Mideast Chat Caught On Open Microphone

Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Mon, 17 Jul 22:02:47 2006

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US President George W Bush, caught on an open microphone at a summit in St Petersburg, has suggested that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would travel to the Middle East "pretty soon".

US President George W Bush, caught on an open microphone at a summit in St Petersburg, has suggested that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would travel to the Middle East "pretty soon".

Mr Bush, chomping on a piece of bread at a world leaders' lunch, also told British Prime Minister Tony Blair that a key to defusing the violence in the region was for "Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it's over".

"She's going. I think Condis going to go pretty soon," said the President.

He did not specify a destination but Dr Rice is widely expected to travel to the Middle East when a UN fact-finding mission returns later this week.

Mr Blair offered to go himself if "she needs the ground prepared as it were," explaining that the stakes for him would be lower: "If she goes out she's got to succeed, as it were, whereas I can just go out and talk."

"The irony is, what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it's over," Mr Bush replied without specifying who "they" are.

The President's remarks were caught at the Group of Eight summit's official television network, which filmed the leaders having lunch.


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