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Last Updated:  Monday, 7 April, 2003, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
Bush arrives for war talks
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W Bush
Top of the agenda will be the administration in post-war Iraq
US President George W Bush has arrived in Northern Ireland for a two-day meeting with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on Iraq.

The meeting will also cover the peace processes in the Middle East and Northern Ireland.

It is the third summit in three weeks between Mr Bush and Mr Blair and it is being at Hillsborough Castle, County Down.

The US and UK have so far agreed a basic three-stage procedure for running Iraq after the war, but there remains much argument over the details and timing, the BBC's Paul Reynolds says.

Coalition forces maintain security while a sub-Pentagon department controls infrastructure and aid
Formation of a broad-based, multi-ethnic interim Iraqi administration
Eventual move to an Iraqi government

Both have agreed that the US will be in control in the immediate aftermath, with an eventual handover to an Iraqi authority.

The main difference is over the role of the UN and how long the handover process should take.

Britain wants the UN to oversee a conference of Iraqis which would choose new leaders, with a special co-ordinator to supervise the process. But the Americans want to limit the international organisation's role to a humanitarian one.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said there were no plans to release Mr Bush's long-awaited "road map" for Middle East peace during the meeting.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's power-sharing government was suspended last October amid allegations of IRA intelligence-gathering at the parliament in Stormont.

At a time when some are accusing the president and the prime minister of being warmongers, it is obviously helpful for both leaders to stress their support for Northern Ireland's peace process

Mr Blair and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern are due to set out a joint declaration on Thursday - the fifth anniversary of the Good Friday peace agreement - aimed at restoring devolution.

The hope is that the IRA will respond by committing itself to peace "both by word and action", the BBC's Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson says.

Mr Bush is not expected to get involved with negotiations, but will urge the parties to resolve their differences and remind them the world is watching, he adds.

The BBC's Mark Simpson
"The skies over Belfast have rarely been busier"

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