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Bush Begins Five-Nation African Tour - 2003-07-08


President Bush arrives in Senegal Tuesday where he will meet with West African leaders at the start of his five-nation tour of Africa.

President Bush begins his trip in West Africa's oldest democracy where President Abdoulaye Wade came to office by defeating Senegal's ruling party and a 20-year incumbent president.

While in Senegal, Mr. Bush will meet with leaders from other West African democracies including Benin, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Sierra Leone.

While addressing African conflicts, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice says the president's meeting is also meant to encourage those enacting democratic reforms.

"It's not that we don't recognize the tremendous humanitarian challenges in Africa, but it's also important to celebrate those countries in Africa that are trying to do the right thing. And Senegal is one of those places. The countries that will come together with President Wade and President Bush in Senegal are also countries that are trying to do the right thing," Ms. Rice said.

Mr. Bush will also visit Gore Island through which many Africans passed on their way to slavery in the United States and Europe.

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