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Protests greet Bush as he arrives in Britain

June 16, 2008|From Reuters

LONDON — President Bush arrived in Britain on Sunday for what could be his last official visit as president, urging his close ally not to withdraw forces from Iraq unless conditions on the ground allowed.

Underlining the divisiveness of the Iraq issue, about 2,000 protesters outside Parliament denounced Bush. Several were injured in scuffles with police, and 25 were reported arrested.

In an interview ahead of his visit, Bush said that though the United States and Britain obviously wanted to bring their troops home soon, it should be done "based upon success," not arbitrary timetables.

Bush, on the final stop of a European farewell tour, said Al Qaeda militants had been defeated in Iraq.

In an interview with Britain's Sky News, he said: "That's not to say that they're not still dangerous or want to come back, but they've been routed."

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