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Friday, December 01, 2006
Top Iraqi Shiite leader to visit Bush in DC, aide says
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a top Iraqi Shiite leader and arguably one of the most powerful people in the country, will visit Washington soon to meet with President Bush, an al-Hakim aide told CNN.

Haitham Husseini -- aide to al-Hakim, the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) -- told CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq that al-Hakim will be traveling to the United States in the next few days.

He said the invitation came several months ago in a phone call from President Bush to al-Hakim, and it was made again by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rica during her last visit to Iraq.

Al-Hakim and Bush will discuss the political crisis in Iraq and other issues, Husseini said. Much of the recent turbulence in Iraq has been generated by a rival of SCIRI, the political movement led by firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

There was no immediate response to the report from the White House.
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