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Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release 
June 9, 2004

Fact Sheet: Sister Cities Initiative

Today, Mrs. Bush announced a new initiative with Sister Cities International to strengthen relationships between U.S. and Iraqi communities.  The initiative will link U.S. and Iraqi cities to advance the goals of increased communication and cooperation.

Sister Cities International is a nonprofit network committed to increasing global cooperation at the municipal level.  SCI has developed city-to-city partnerships throughout the world, from Chicago-Casablanca to Atlanta-Tbilisi.

City-to-City Programs:  Partner cities will initially focus on humanitarian assistance, such as Wheelchairs for Peace, Operation Iraqi Children, and other local aid initiatives.  As the partnerships develop, other programs will be explored relating to healthcare, education, information technology, and economic and business development. 

Participants:  Three American cities have already taken the first step in the Sister Cities program to link with Iraqi communities as “International Partners for Peace”.  These partners are: Denver and Baghdad; Dallas and Kirkuk; and Tucson and Sulaymaniyah.  Additional Iraqi cities will include Mosul, Basrah, and Hilla.

Assistance:   The U.S. government applauds these cities for their initiative, and remains committed to enhancing these important partnerships between the people of the United States and the people of Iraq. 

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