Bush readies for Africa trip

Feb. 13, 2008 at 10:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- President George Bush will stress the United States' commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS during his upcoming trip to Africa, the administration said Wednesday.

The president and first lady Laura Bush leave for Africa Friday, with stops planned in Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said in remarks released by the White House. It will be Bush's second visit to Africa during his two terms and the fifth for Mrs. Bush.

"The trip will highlight how the United States has partnered closely with the people of Africa to address the challenges of disease, poverty and security," Hadley said, "And how, together, we've really made remarkable progress."

Hadley noted the United States is the largest contributor to the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, "pledging more than $3.5 billion and providing over $2.5 billion since 2001."

Hadley added that the president's trip will "be an opportunity to reaffirm the enduring commitment of the United States to bringing peace and stability to the region." He said Bush can take credit for helping "wind down wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, the North-South conflict in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and Burundi. The United States is also leading international efforts to help stop the genocide in Darfur."

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