British leader coming to White House this week

Saturday, November 6th 2004, 11:32 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush's first postelection meeting with a foreign leader comes this week when British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a staunch ally on Iraq, is due at the White House for two days, officials said Saturday.

Blair will be in Washington on Thursday and Friday for meetings to chart ``the way forward on a lot of things,'' a senior Bush administration official said.

Blair, in supporting the U.S.-led war in Iraq, has defied public opinion at home and in European capitals.

Last week, Blair declared that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the world's most important political challenge, an assessment with which Bush did not fully embrace.

``I agree with him that the Middle East peace is a very important part of a peaceful world,'' Bush said in a news conference Thursday.