Iraq dominates Snow's last briefing

Sept. 12, 2007 at 5:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Assessments of the security and political situation in Iraq Wednesday dominated the final news briefing by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow.

When asked about comments that the war in Iraq was a "war without end," Snow said the strategy behind the war wasn't strictly military but also diplomatic.

"It is one that ... has a strong diplomatic component seeking greater cooperation and interaction with regional powers and regional allies (and) has expectations in terms of what the neighbors ought to do, including Iran and Syria," he said.

Snow said Army Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. troop commander in Iraq who spent two days on Capitol Hill offering his assessment of the situation, has discussed ways to reduce the United States' combat presence in Iraq. He said President Bush "has also said it is not an open-ended commitment."

Snow, 52, a cancer survivor, announced in August he was leaving. His deputy, Dana Perino, will take over Snow's duties starting Sept. 14.

"I'm sorry I have to leave it, but I have got to say it has been a real honor and a pleasure working with everybody in this room," Snow said. "And I'll miss it."

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