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Bush puts trade before security in speech

Nov. 16, 2006 at 7:53 AM

SINGAPORE, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- In a lengthy speech in Singapore Thursday, U.S. President George Bush only briefly mentioned terrorism after stressing trade, energy and health issues.

Speaking at the National Singapore University after meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Bush spoke at length about global trade on the eve of the annual Summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Vietnam.

Bush then spoke of the need for renewable energy and the scores of initiatives the United States is involved in, including an APEC task force studying fuels made from palm oil, sugar cane and other natural products.

"It's in the world's interest that we work together to end our addiction to oil," Bush said.

Bush then turned to health issues, including Southeast Asia's response to SARS and containment efforts for avian flu. He said the United States has given $138 million in relief to Vietnam for the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS in the country.

Bush spoke, but only briefly, about cooperation in combating Islamist terrorism, and then spent more time calling for North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapon program and returning to six-nation talks.

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