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US President Bids Farewell to Diplomatic Corps

U.S. President George Bush has paid his farewell visit to the nation's diplomatic agency, as he prepares to leave office next week.

The outgoing president was greeted with patriotic music and rousing applause at the State Department Thursday. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presented him with several awards for his role in expanding NATO and "increasing freedom around the world."

Both Rice and Mr. Bush highlighted accomplishments of the Bush administration in global affairs, and urged the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama to continue efforts to seek liberty throughout the world.

Rice said the country's mission to expand freedom should "endure" into the next administration. And Mr. Bush urged the country to "remain confident in the transformative power of liberty."

Mr. Bush delivers his farewell address to the nation late Thursday. He said he expects to touch on what he called his work to "advance the ideals of liberty" over the past eight years.