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Bush Shares Impressions of European Trip


President Bush briefed congressional leaders Wednesday on his just-ended trip to Europe. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports from the White House the president shared his impressions with lawmakers from both major political parties.

Most of the briefing was conducted in private. But before the doors were closed, Mr. Bush shared some of his favorite images from the trip.

He talked about the military parade held in Moscow's Red Square to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe. The president called it an amazing event, noting that the days of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union are long over.

"I remember as a kid watching the missiles parade in Red Square. And here I sat as the President of the United States in Red Square paying homage to people who died to defeat Nazism," said Mr. Bush.

President Bush stressed that the Soviet Union is gone and Russia is not an enemy, but a friend.

"And it's important that we work together to achieve peace,” he added. “Obviously, we have a difference of opinion on certain issues, but we don't have a difference of opinion on working together for peace."

Mr. Bush began and ended his trip in what he called the "newly minted democracies" that surround Russia. He began in Latvia, where he met with Baltic leaders, including those who boycotted the Moscow ceremonies to protest decades of Soviet domination of their countries.

The last stop was Georgia, where he addressed a massive crowd in a Tbilisi city square.

"Standing in front of 150,000 people who love freedom was a fantastic experience," he explained.

It was only after the president headed for home that it was disclosed that a grenade was found at the speech site. Georgian officials say the device was inactive, and White House Spokesman Scott McClellan says the president's life was never in danger.

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