Washington- President George W. Bush on Tuesday embarks on his fourth trip to Europe this year, flying to Denmark to dine with royalty and say thanks to a wartime ally. He ends his visit in Scotland, where rich nations are being asked to do more to ease poverty in Africa.
Bush and the other leaders are to hold three days of talks at the Group of Eight summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, where British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who set the agenda as this year”s host, wants to achieve breakthroughs not only in African aid but also on climate change.
The leaders are expected to agree on billions of dollars in new support for Africa, the world”s poorest continent, according to a report of the Associated Press.
On Tuesday, Bush becomes only the second sitting U.S. president to visit Denmark, where he will express appreciation for the several hundred troops the Scandinavian nation has sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. Transatlantic relations and advancing freedom around the world also will be on Bush”s agenda during talks Wednesday with Denmark”s prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
"I”m looking forward to a good night”s sleep on the soil of a friend," Bush said in an interview leading up to his first stay in the country. He lamented that security considerations would prevent him visiting with ordinary Danes. "It would be unfair to the people of Denmark if I tried to move around too much because the security would be quite inconvenient to them," he said.
"In defense of my policies, I did go to the United Nations, not only for Afghanistan, but for Iraq," Bush said in the interview with Danish Broadcasting Corp. "And we did work with allies and we did ask people”s opinion. And we put a coalition together, of which your great country joined. And I”m thankful for your prime minister”s tough decision."
After breakfast and a bilateral meeting Wednesday morning with Rasmussen, the president and Mrs. Bush will attend a luncheon hosted by the Queen Margrethe and her French-born husband, Prince Henrik.
In Scotland the rest of the week, Bush will join the leaders of Britain, Russia, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan at a luxury hotel and golf resort in Gleneagles under heavy security.