Excerpts from: http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/06/13/iraq.main/index.html
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — President Bush arrived Tuesday in Baghdad on an unannounced visit to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Bush and his top officials had begun a two-day summit at Camp David, Maryland, on Monday to discuss Iraq’s progress and had scheduled a teleconference with al-Maliki for Tuesday morning.
But Bush secretly left for Iraq on Monday night to see al-Maliki in person.
Bush’s visit comes less than a week after a U.S. airstrike killed terrorist leader Musab al-Zarqawi and the Iraqi parliament approved the prime minister’s nominations for three key security posts in the new Cabinet, ending a stalemate among politicians over these positions.
Had those posts been filled sooner, Bush would have made the trip months earlier, [U.S. Presidential counselor Dan] Bartlett said.
“When you’re dealing with issues of enormous consequence, the security of our country, the security of the Middle East and the world, and you’re making such monumental decisions, it’s critically important that you’re able to meet with the new leader, confer with the leader, who you’re going to be making those decisions with,” Bartlett said.