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Bush Meets Sunday  With Thai Prime Minister Ahead of APEC Summit - 2003-10-18


President Bush has arrived in Thailand as part of his Asia regional tour and ahead of a summit of leaders from Asia and the Pacific.

The president's aircraft landed at Bangkok's international airport late Saturday, after the president's stopover in the Philippines, where he addressed the Philippine Congress.

In Thailand, President Bush will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. He will be seeking support from APEC members in the global fight against terrorism. Talks also will focus on trade liberalization and business cooperation.

Mr. Bush is also set to announce an upgrade of military ties with Thailand, a long-time supporter from the days of the Vietnam War, by designating the country a major non-NATO ally, a status enabling the United States to provide more advanced military equipment.

Security in the Thai capital has been increased in recent days, ahead of the APEC summit.

Mr. Bush will be in Bangkok until Tuesday evening, when he departs for Singapore, before traveling on to Australia.

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