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Bush Heads Home From Asia - 2003-10-23


President Bush has ended his six-nation Asia-Pacific tour after thanking Australia for joining U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr. Bush left the Australian capital Canberra this (Thursday) evening, after addressing a joint session of parliament. He said the two countries have a special responsibility to help keep the peace, and he praised Australia for always stepping forward in times of trouble and danger.

The president told Australian legislators that terrorists will not be stopped by negotiations, but rather they must be found and defeated.

Mr. Bush was interrupted twice by members of the minority Green Party opposed to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. And some members of the opposition Labor Party remained seated during a standing ovation at the end of Mr. Bush's speech.

Before his speech, President Bush met with Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Mr. Howard has been one of the president's staunchest allies in the Iraqi campaign, despite intense opposition among the Australian public to the war.

Mr. Bush's Asia-Pacific tour also took him to Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.

Mr. Bush is headed for Hawaii, where he will leave international affairs behind and seek to raise money for the 2004 U.S. presidential election campaign.

Information for thisr report is provided by AP and AFP.

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