SLUG: 2-304088 Bush/Portugal/Iraq
INTRO: President Bush has met with Portugal's Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso to thank him for his support during the U-S led war in Iraq. Friday's White House meeting came amid more questions about what the United States knew about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction in the lead up to the war. Correspondent Nick Simeone has more from the White House.
TEXT: Portugal hosted the meeting in the Azores (Islands) last March that brought together President Bush and the leaders of Britain and Spain to discuss ways to avoid a war in Iraq. And, it was one of nations known as the coalition of the willing that supported the U-S led war to rid Iraq of its alleged weapons of mass destruction.
But nearly two months after fighting ended, none of those weapons have been found and the Bush administration is facing increasing questions about its pre-war intelligence. President Bush did not take questions from reporters Friday. But after meeting with Mr. Bush, Portuguese Prime Minister Barroso said the president assured him he has full convince in U-S intelligence.
/// BARROSO ACT ///
It's difficult now to produce immediately all kinds of evidence. But as I've told you, President Bush told me that he has full confidence in the intelligence reports he received about the possession of weapons of mass destruction by the former Iraqi authorities.
/// END ACT ///
He credited Mr. Bush with taking great risks in Iraq but emphasized we now have to win the peace. (SIGNED)
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