Bush visiting Bahrain to garner support

Jan. 12, 2008 at 1:51 PM

MANAMA, Bahrain, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush arrived in Bahrain Saturday as part of his Persian Gulf tour to garner support for his attempts to limit Iranian influence.

Following a stop in Kuwait, Bush moved on to Bahrain where he is scheduled to meet with the country's king, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, to discuss Iran's influence in the Middle East, the Voice of America reported.

Bahrain currently is home to the Fifth Fleet of the U.S. Navy, but Bush's visit to the Arab state marked the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the country.

Bush's visit to Bahrain marked his second stop of his tour and came mere hours after the U.S. leader was briefed by the commander of the U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. David Patraeus.

The BBC said that during that briefing, Bush said stability in Iraq had increased since his country sent an additional 30,000 soldiers into the region.

"Iraq is now a different place from one year ago," Bush said at the briefing. "We must do all we can to ensure that 2008 will bring even greater progress."

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