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Bush ends Middle East tour with brief visit to Egypt

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Bush ends Middle East tour with brief visit to Egypt

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Bringing his eight-day Middle East tour to a close, George W. Bush has arrived in Egypt. The US President was greeted by his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh. The American leader will spend less than four hours there before heading home. The brevity of the visit reflects the diminishing importance of the relationship to both Cairo and Washington.

The choice of venue, in a Red Sea resort hundreds of kilometres from large population centres, suggests both countries’ governments are wary of putting Bush into contact with many ordinary Egyptians.

Earlier, opposition groups protested in Cairo. Islamists, liberals and leftists have found common ground in criticising the US leader’s visit.