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Bush congratulates Georgian leader

Jan. 14, 2008 at 9:58 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush Monday congratulated Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili for winning the former Soviet Bloc nation's presidential election.

Bush called Saakashvili while taking off from Dubai for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as he toured the Middle East as part of a nine-day regional tour, U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters.

"The president, just as we took off, called President-elect Saakashvili of Georgia, congratulated him on his electoral victory," Hadley said while aboard Air Force One.

Saakashvili won more than 53 percent of the vote, local media reported.

"Saakashvili was appreciative of the president's call. He indicated that he had reached out to the opposition and was going to try and build a consensus during his -- what will be, obviously, his last term as president," Hadley said.

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