An encounter with Vladimir Putin and other world leaders provided George Bush with his first foray into the international arena since his re-election. The US and Russian presidents are among a group of 21 heads of state and prime ministers meeting in Chile under the auspices of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Tight security meant that earlier violent demonstrations failed to delay the opening of the conference in the Chilean capital, Caracas.
The aim of the organisation is to advance trade links and commerce between the member states. But the US has pushed for security to be high on the agenda this time around. Iran and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions will also be under discussion. North Korea is one of the few Asia Pacific nations not a member of the Apec club. Bush will also have a separate meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao.