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Anti-War Protesters Clash With Police Prior to Cheney Australia Visit


Anti-war protesters clashed with police Thursday in Sydney near the U.S. consulate, several hours before U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Australia.

About 200 demonstrators scuffled with police and chanted slogans demanding that Australia's prime minister, John Howard, withdraw troops from Iraq. Ten protesters were arrested.

Cheney arrived several hours later under tight security. He is scheduled to meet with Mr. Howard on Saturday as part of his Asia tour.

Although Australia is one of Washington's closest allies in the Iraq war, opinion polls in the country show that most citizens want their troops to come home.

Britain announced plans Wednesday to begin gradually withdrawing troops, but Mr. Howard says he will not withdraw Australia's troops from Iraq.

Cheney's stopover in Australia follows a three-day visit to Japan and a brief stop on the U.S. pacific island of Guam to bolster support for the war in Iraq.

Earlier Thursday, Cheney spoke to hundreds of U.S. sailors and airmen at the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, where he rallied support for the war.

In Japan Wednesday, Cheney said the United States would not retreat from Iraq.

He held talks with top Japanese officials, including the prime minister Shinzo Abe and chief cabinet secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki. However, he did not meet the defense minister Fumio Kyuma, who recently criticized Washington's decision to invade Iraq.

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