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Bush Offers Thanks, Farewells to World Leaders

  • VOA News

Outgoing U.S. President George Bush spoke by phone to a number of world leaders today (Monday), to thank them for their cooperation and friendship during his eight years as president.

On his final full day in office, Mr. Bush spoke to Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitri Medvedev, as well as Israeli President Shimon Peres, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The outgoing president also spoke with the presidents of Brazil (Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva),Georgia (Mikheil Saakashvili) and South Korea (Lee Myung-bak), as well as the prime ministers of Italy (Silvio Berlusconi), Britain (Gordon Brown), Japan (Taro Aso) and Denmark (Anders Fogh Rasmussen). He also spoke with former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

A White House spokesman (Gordon Johndroe) said President Bush told the leaders he enjoyed working with them, and he is grateful for the hospitality they showed to him and to his wife, Laura.

Mr. Bush's successor, President-elect Barack Obama, will be sworn in on Tuesday. After the ceremony, Mr. Bush and his wife will leave the Capitol grounds and depart Washington, D.C. for their home state of Texas.


Two days ago, President Bush gave his final presidential radio address. He told the American people that he will spend the rest of his life "grateful for the opportunity to have served as president" of what he called "the greatest nation on Earth."

Mr. Bush leaves office with one of the lowest public approval ratings of any departing U.S. president.

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