Bush, Blair: Saddam's Regime Falling

04/08/2003 4:16PM

Americans woke up Tuesday morning to witness a live news conference in Northern Ireland with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush talking of events that may mark a turning point in the war that began March 19.

Bush said that although it remains unclear whether Saddam Hussein has been killed, the end of his tyrannical regime is clearly nearing its end.

"I don't know whether he survived," Bush said. "The only thing I know is that he's losing power."

During the night, a U.S. warplane dropped four bunker-busting bombs on a restaurant in an exclusive residential neighborhood where Saddam was believed to be meeting with his sons.

Blair said Saddam's regime is collapsing under the weight of allied attacks and that "the power of Saddam is ending."

Another issue the leaders addressed is the rebuilding of a post-war Iraq.

The President said he supports a United Nations role in the country, as well as the creation of an interim governing authority. He was not specific about such an authority, such as who would sit on it, nor on what role the U.N. would -- or should -- play.

Blair said, "There will be a vital role for the U.N. in the reconstruction of Iraq. But the key is that Iraq in the end will be run by the Iraqi people ... This was indeed a war of liberation and not conquest."

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