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Extremists Desperate to Derail Iraqi Sovereignty, Bush Says

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2004 – As the June 30 handoff of sovereignty to an Iraqi government approaches, extremist elements within Iraq are becoming more desperate to derail the process, President Bush said April 28.

In a brief news conference following a White House meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, Bush said coalition forces will "deal with those who want to stop the march to freedom."

The president said insurgents in Fallujah will not succeed in driving out the coalition. "They want to kill innocent life and try to get us to quit. And we're not going to," Bush said. "And our military commanders will take whatever action is necessary to secure Fallujah on behalf of the Iraqi people."

He noted that most of the restive Iraqi city is returning to normal, though there are some pockets of resistance. "And we will our military, along with Iraqis will make sure it's secure," he added.

Bush and Persson also discussed a Swedish citizen being held as an enemy detainee at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Persson expressed his country's concern that the Swedish prisoner either be released or brought to trial.

"We want to work closely with our friends. We have done so with other countries, and we will do so with Sweden," Bush said. "There is a delegation coming over so that we can fully understand the facts and the consequences."

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Text of Remarks by President Bush and Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, The White House, April 28, 2004

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