President Bush today (Sunday) begins a three-country European tour aimed at strengthening trans-Atlantic ties strained by differences over the Iraq war. Mr. Bush's agenda includes separate meetings with leaders of the three main European opponents to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq -- French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also will confer with Iraq war allies, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush have visited the Indonesian island of Sumatra on their tour of areas devastated by the December 26th tsunami. After arriving in the city of Medan from Thailand today (Sunday), they held talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Mr. Yudhoyono said they discussed concerns of accountability for aid amid fears that much of the money could be siphoned off by corrupt officials. The tour of the region is aimed at raising more donations.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's controversial plan to withdraw Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip is expected to win his Cabinet's approval during a meeting that is now in progress in Jerusalem.
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