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Bush: US Engaged in Resolving African Conflicts

President Bush says his administration is actively engaged in resolving conflicts in Africa, but he says the United States is also involved in many of the continent's successes.

Mr. Bush, who is on a five-nation African tour, told reporters in Cotonou, Benin Saturday that highlighting success stories will help other nations understand what is possible.  But he said his trip also is aimed at finding ways forward in trouble spots on the continent.

The president made the comments after brief talks with his counterpart, Thomas Boni Yayi, before arriving Saturday in Tanzania for the second leg of his tour.

President Bush, in his remarks today, praised Mr. Yayi, saying the African leader believed in "certain truths and values," including rooting out corruption and upholding democracy.  Mr. Yayi said his U.S. counterpart had shown great concern for Africa, especially through his initiatives in fighting malaria and AIDS.

Mr. Bush also defended his decision not to send U.S. troops to Sudan's troubled Darfur region, saying he relied on advise from his military advisors, but he said his administration has played an active role on the issue.

While in Tanzania, Mr. Bush is expected to sign a pact with President Jakaya Kikwete that will provide the eastern African nation with nearly $700 million.

Mr. Bush will also visit Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia during his seven-day trip.  He says the goals of his mission are to promote democratic reform and economic advancement, and review progress in public health campaigns against malaria and AIDS.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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