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Bush Meets with Macedonian Prime Minister

President Bush and Macedonian Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski have met at the White House to discuss reforms in Macedonia and the situation in Iraq.

Following their talks, Mr. Bush praised Macedonia for showing the world it is possible for people of different backgrounds to live together in peace. He said his discussions with Mr. Buckovski also covered Macedonia's aspirations to join NATO.

Mr. Bush also thanked Mr. Buckovski for sending Macedonian troops to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Macedonian leader said his forces will stay in those countries for as long as they are needed.

Mr. Buckovski is also meeting at the Pentagon with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Friday, he will be in New York for a United Nations Development Program donors' conference on Macedonia. He winds up his U.S. trip with a stop in Detroit for a meeting with Macedonian-American community leaders.