US Prez ends Africa trip by joining Bush at memorial
Democratic President Barack Obama and former President George W Bush are proving that it’s a small world after all, with an extraordinary chance encounter a long way from home. Obama and his Republican predecessor plan to appear together briefly Tuesday, when by coincidence both will be in the same city on Africa’s east coast promoting development on the continent.
Obama is on the final day of a week long tour of the continent, while the George W Bush Institute is hosting a two-day summit on African women. Initially the two men had no plans to meet, but the White House announced Monday that they would gather at a memorial for Americans killed in the U.S. Embassy bombing here nearly 15 years ago.
They plan to lay a wreath in honor of the 11 Americans who died in the attack masterminded by Osama bin Laden, along with a near-simultaneous bombing at the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Kenya. Meanwhile, first lady Michelle Obama and Laura Bush planned to appear together on a panel at the conference on empowering African women. President Bush plans to deliver his own speech there Wednesday, after the Obamas have returned to Washington.Obama has credited Bush with helping save millions of lives by funding AIDS treatment. ‘I’m looking forward to being able, on African soil, to once again thank him on behalf of the American people for showing how American generosity and foresight could end up making a real difference in people’s lives,’ Obama said.