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Bush in Bahrain as Part of Persian Gulf Tour

By VOA News

U.S. President George Bush is in Bahrain - his second stop on a tour of Persian Gulf states aimed partly at generating support for his efforts to contain Iran's growing influence in the region.

He is expected to hold talks with Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa.

Mr. Bush is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.

He flew to Bahrain from Kuwait, where he met with his top military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, Ryan Crocker.

The president later said he has made no decision on withdrawing more troops from Iraq. He also called on Syria to cut what he called the "flow of terrorists" into Iraq, and he urged Iran to stop supporting militias and extremist groups in Iraq.

President Bush said his decision to send more U.S. troops to Iraq a year ago has significantly reduced violence in the country where - as he put it - "hope is returning."

Mr. Bush also held talks with Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. A White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said President Bush thanked the emir for supporting the United States on critical Middle East issues, and also for Kuwait's role in accommodating U.S. troops traveling into and out of Iraq.

Beginning Sunday, the president will visit the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

... Payvand News - 01/12/08 ... --

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