Khalifa and Bush set to strengthen ties
US President George W Bush will arrive in the UAE on Sunday in the latest leg of his first tour of allies in the Middle East.
His Highness President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan will host talks with Bush in Abu Dhabi on ways to further develop a joint relationship.
President Bush will later meet with the US-UAE Business Council and will give a speech at the forum organised by the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research. Bush’s itinerary also includes a tour of an exhibition on Saadiyat Island, as well as the Masdar project for the development and generation of renewable, alternative and clean energy.
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “We welcome this historic visit by President Bush to the UAE, which is the first by an American President during his term in office.”
He said the UAE was the United States’s largest economic partner in the Middle East with trade exchange in 2006 exceeding $13 billion (Dh47.7bn).
President Bush, in his final year in the White House, is visiting allies throughout the Middle East for the first time since he took office seven years ago. President Bush’s tour of the region began on January 8 and is due to conclude on Wednesday. His itinerary included Israel, the occupied West Bank, Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi and Egypt. The White House said he hoped to build on the progress made at the Annapolis summit last month.
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