Matt Spetalnick

Five years on, Bush again talks of Iraq victory

United States President George Bush said on Wednesday he had no regrets about the unpopular war in Iraq despite the ''high cost in lives and treasure'' and declared that the US was on track for victory. With less than 11 months left in office and his approval ratings near the lows of his presidency, Bush is trying to shore up support for the Iraq campaign.

Bush to hail prospect of Iraq ‘strategic victory’

President George Bush will acknowledge on Wednesday the Iraq war has been fought at a high cost but will insist a United States troop build-up has opened the door to a ''major strategic victory'' against Islamic militants. ''The successes we are seeing in Iraq are undeniable,'' Bush will say in an upbeat assessment.

Bush visits US Fifth Fleet amid Iran tensions

President George Bush visited the United States navy's Fifth Fleet on Sunday amid new tensions with Iran over an incident in which the United States says its ships were harassed in the Strait of Hormuz. Washington says Iranian boats threatened its warships on January 6 along the vital route for crude oil shipments.

Bush presses Mideast peace bid amid scepticism

Embarking on his first visit to Jerusalem as United States President, George Bush pressed Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Wednesday to seize what he called an historic opportunity and make tough concessions for peace. Defying sceptics who doubt he can deliver on a pledge to seek a deal on a Palestinian state before he leaves office in a year, Bush said he was ''very hopeful''.

Bush launches Middle East talks amid scepticism

United States President George Bush invited Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the White House to renew long-stalled peace talks on Wednesday but faced deep scepticism over chances for a deal. Finally embracing a hands-on approach, Bush will ceremonially inaugurate the first formal Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in seven years.

Bush hosts Dalai Lama amid Chinese outrage

President George Bush hosted the Dalai Lama on Tuesday despite China's warning that US plans to honour the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader could damage relations between Beijing and Washington. Beijing has bitterly denounced plans for the Dalai Lama to receive the Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday.

Bush agrees to limited troop cuts in Iraq

United States President George Bush on Thursday ordered gradual troop reductions in Iraq but defied calls for a dramatic change of course, telling war-weary Americans the US military role there will stretch beyond his presidency. Bush acknowledged Americans' frustration with the war but insisted progress was being made.

Lobster and détente on menu at Bush-Putin summit

If United States President George Bush hopes fresh lobster and scenic boat rides will sway Russia's Vladimir Putin, he'll find out on Monday when they try to mend relations now at a post-Cold War low. The leaders will hold talks at the end of Putin's overnight visit to the Bush family's New England estate in a bid to find common ground on thorny issues.

Bush vows to stay the course in Iraq

President George Bush told sceptical Americans on Wednesday he was sending about 21 500 extra US troops to Iraq and, in a rare admission, said he made a mistake by not deploying more forces sooner. ''The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people, and it is unacceptable to me,'' Bush said in a televised White House address.

Bush lowers partisan tone after election losses

Hamstrung by the collapse of his Republican majority in Congress, President George Bush faced the humbling task on Thursday of reaching across party lines to Democrats swept to power by voter anger over his Iraq policy. Bush's fence-mending with Democratic leaders follow word that they have won enough seats to take control of the United States Senate.

Musharraf plugs book to dodge ‘bomb’ spat

Pakistan's leader cited a book deal during an appearance with United States President George Bush on Friday to avoid talking about a purported US threat to bomb his country back to the Stone Age after the September 11 attacks. With his memoir due out on Monday, President Pervez Musharraf managed to plug his book while smoothing diplomatic waters after talks with Bush on their partnership in the war on terrorism.

Israel to expand Lebanon war

Israel decided on Wednesday to expand its ground offensive in Lebanon despite United Nations diplomacy to end the four-week-old war. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's security cabinet ordered the move to send troops further into Lebanon, possibly as far as the Litani River, up to 20km from the border, to strike at Hezbollah.

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