Outgoing U.S. President George Bush spoke by phone to a number of world leaders Monday, to thank them for their cooperation and friendship during his eight years as president.
On this, his final day in office, Mr. Bush spoke to Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili, Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitri Medvedev, Denmark's Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He also spoke to former President of Mexico Vicente Fox, Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso, South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak, Israel's President Shimon Peres and Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
A White House spokesman says President Bush told the leaders he enjoyed working with them, and he is grateful for the hospitality they showed to him and to his wife, Laura.
Mr. Bush's successor, President-elect Barack Obama, will be sworn in on Tuesday. After the ceremony, Mr. Bush and his wife will leave the Capitol grounds and depart Washington, D.C.
Two days ago, President Bush gave his final presidential radio address. He told the American people that he will spend the rest of his life "grateful for the opportunity to have served as president" of what he called "the greatest nation on Earth."
Mr. Bush leaves office with one of the lowest public approval ratings of any departing U.S. president.