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Bush Calls on Leaders of Turkey, Pakistan

President Bush met Monday with the Turkish prime minister in hopes of defusing a conflict at the Iraqi border between Turkey and Kurdish militants. The president also spoke Monday about the crisis in Pakistan, where President Gen. Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule Saturday. The Bush administration has said it's deeply disappointed by the move.

President Bush has called on his ally Musharaff to give up his military uniform and hold elections as planned. He declared the state of emergency despite appeals from Washington, D.C., not to do so. The U.S. — which has poured nearly $10 billion into Pakistan to help Musharaff fight terrorism in recent years — is now reviewing its aid program. But Washington seems to have little leverage.

Meantime, the other major foreign policy challenge on President Bush's plate is Turkey. He played host to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has threatened to send troops into northern Iraq to go after Kurdish militants using the region as a base to attack inside Turkey.

The president promised the visiting prime minister that the U.S. is working with Iraqi Kurdish leaders to crack down on the group.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Michele Kelemen has been with NPR for two decades, starting as NPR's Moscow bureau chief and now covering the State Department and Washington's diplomatic corps. Her reports can be heard on all NPR News programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

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