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Bush to appeal to allies for help

President Bush reaches out to allies this week for help in quelling violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, in a burst of diplomacy from a Baltic summit of NATO partners to Mideast talks with Iraq's prime minister.

Just back from an eight-day trip to Asia, Bush was leaving today on another overseas trip as pressure builds at home for a change in his administration's Iraq strategy amid deepening tensions and violence in that country.

Bush stops first in Estonia en route to a NATO summit in neighboring Latvia on Tuesday and Wednesday, where a debate over military operations in Afghanistan is expected to dominate.

Bush will press for a heavier financial and military commitment from many of the alliance's 26 members and urge an easing of restrictions by individual countries on what their troops can and cannot do, according to administration officials.

From Latvia, the president heads to Jordan for two days of talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Jordan was deemed a less dangerous setting for the meeting than Baghdad.

Jordan's King Abdullah said Sunday that tensions in the Middle East go beyond the war in Iraq and that much of the region soon could become engulfed in violence unless the central issues are addressed quickly.

"We could possibly imagine going into 2007 and having three civil wars on our hands," he said on ABC's This Week, citing conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon and the decades-long strife between the Palestinians and Israelis.

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