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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 December 2006, 17:22 GMT
Bush sees US consensus over Iraq
Iraqi youth injured by mortar in Baghdad on Saturday
Mortars killed two and wounded four in Baghdad on Saturday
US President George W Bush has said he is confident Americans can move beyond political differences and agree a new direction for Iraq leading to victory.

In his weekly radio address, he again praised the report by the Iraq Study Group calling for a change of strategy.

But he made clear he would take no major decisions based upon it alone.

Violence continued in Iraq on Saturday as a car bomb in the Shia holy city of Karbala killed at least five people and injured more than 40 others.

The bomb, driven by a suicide attacker, went off near the Imam al-Abbas shrine, the final resting place of the son of the founder of Shia Islam.

It was the latest in a long series of attacks apparently aimed at inflaming sectarian sentiments, the BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says.

In other attacks on Saturday:

  • A car bomb killed three people in the northern city of Mosul
  • Two people died in a mortar attack in the mainly Shia suburb of Kadhimiya in Baghdad
  • Four civilians were killed in separate attacks by gunmen on crowds in Baquba, AFP news agency reports.

'Come together'

Mr Bush said the future of the region and of the American people depended on "victory in Iraq".

I want to hear all advice as I make the decisions to chart a new course in Iraq
George W Bush

"Now it is the responsibility of all of us in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike, to come together and find greater consensus on the best way forward," he told radio listeners.

He added that, while he would consider all of the ISG's recommendations, he would await other reviews by the Pentagon, state department and National Security Council.

"I want to hear all advice as I make the decisions to chart a new course in Iraq," he said.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said on Friday the aim was for the president to be able to present new strategy in a speech before Christmas, although "it's not set in stone".

The report of the ISG, which was issued earlier this week, called in part for opening a dialogue with Iran and its regional ally Syria.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has since said Tehran is willing to help the US withdraw from Iraq.

But he added that Iran would only assist if the Americans changed their attitude towards Tehran.

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