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The White House

Gaggle by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs at Al Faw Palace, Iraq, 4-7-09

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                           April 7, 2009
Al Faw Palace
Baghdad, Iraq
6:01 P.M. (Local)
MR. GIBBS: General Odierno briefed President Obama on the situation. They started by talking about how even with the recent bombings, security incidents, which is a measure of activity on the ground, is at its lowest since the war began. The President and General Odierno talked about whether the troops had everything that they needed, including mental health support. I should start by reiterating that at the top of the meeting, the President said the same thing he said to you guys, which was, he underscored that even as the recent focus has been on getting the strategy right in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we still have lots of work to do here in Iraq.
They discussed diplomatic and political efforts that have to continue in order to see progress, and what challenges lie ahead; the need to continue to build strong Iraqi institutions; the importance of upcoming elections.
Let me see, in terms of some of the diplomatic and politics efforts, they talked about the integration of Sunnis into the security forces, the balance between federal and national institutions, and the hydro --
Q Into the security forces, you said?
MR. GIBBS: Security forces, yes. And the hydrocarbon law.
Q Robert, can I just --
MR. GIBBS: Hydrocarbon law.
Q When we went in there, the President said that he’d be meeting in person with both Maliki and Talabani -- I’m just listening to the tape again. You said -- I just want to know what’s right.
MR. GIBBS: There are updates on the schedule even as we speak, so I’ll come back out and do that again.
Q Okay.
Q I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear that part.
MR. GIBBS: There are updates to the schedule, and I’ll come out there --
Q So he may have a face-to-face with Talabani?
MR. GIBBS: Yes, yes.
Q But still here? Everything here?
MR. GIBBS: Somewhere in Camp Victory, yes.
Q He’s not going to the Green Zone, right?
MR. GIBBS: Right. It will be somewhere -- I don’t --
Q Around here.
MR. GIBBS: It’s not likely to be in that office, but it will be nearby.
6:04 P.M. (Local)