First Lady Hopes to Visit Iraq, Afghanistan

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First lady Laura Bush (search) said Thursday that she would like to travel to Iraq (search) and Afghanistan (search), two countries where the former teacher and librarian is interested in seeing improvements in education.

After speaking to students at a South Carolina elementary school, Bush told reporters it was important for Afghan children to return to classes after the Taliban's (search) rule ended.

"I've worked really hard and am still working on a number of issues that have to do with education in Iraq," she said. "I hope the schools here will get a sister school there in Afghanistan or Iraq and have the opportunity for children all over the world to get to know each other."

She said, "I hope I have a chance to travel to Afghanistan and Iraq,"

Bush's spokeswoman Noelia Rodriguez said the first lady had no immediate plans to visit Iraq.

"She is interested in education and children, especially the education for girls after the fall of Taliban. But she has no plans to go" to Iraq, Rodriguez said.

When asked how she and President Bush handled the daily reports of military deaths in Iraq, she said, "It's hard, I mean it's really terrible."

Bush said she is proud of the U.S. soldiers fighting the war on terrorism and the sacrifices they have made with their lives.

After leaving the school, Bush attended a $1,000-a-person fund-raiser for her husband's re-election bid. The Bush-Cheney campaign said 450 people attended the luncheon at the home of former University of South Carolina trustee Eddie Floyd.