RealNews

President skips bombing memorial in flying visit to Bali

President George Bush will not visit the Bali bombing memorial during his visit to the Indonesian island next week, even though the focus of his Asian trip is the fight against terrorism. Mr Bush’s National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said yesterday that a visit to the site where 202 people – including seven Americans, along with 88 Australians and 38 Indonesians – died in the worst terrorist bombing since September 11 was not on the presidential schedule in Bali. Asked if a visit had been ruled out because of the security problems, Dr Rice declined to give a reason. Last Sunday, when Australian Prime Minister John Howard attended the open-air ceremony at the site on the anniversary of the bombing, Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri did not accompany him, a decision many in Australia read as a diplomatic snub. This led to speculation in Washington that Mr Bush could visit the site, especially as he was flying from Bali directly to Australia. Full Story

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