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Last Updated: Monday, 22 November, 2004, 12:30 GMT
Bush plucks bodyguard to safety
Chilean policemen scuffling with US security guards
US security services insisted on tight security for Mr Bush
President George W Bush may have boosted his "can-do" image when he came to the rescue of one of his bodyguards at an international summit in Chile.

The fracas, which was caught on camera, arose when Chilean police refused US security guards entry to an official function in Santiago on Saturday night.

Reaching into the scrum, Mr Bush yanked out his man, then straightened his cuffs and walked off looking unamused.

Chile later cancelled a banquet after the US insisted on a metal detector.

"The president is someone who tends to delegate but every now and then he's a hands-on kind of guy," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said afterwards.

Mr Bush may also have lived up to another, less favourable reputation - that of making gaffes.

He referred at a news conference to Iraqi elections "on schedule for June 30th" when the actual date is 30 January.

'Unacceptable'

Tension between security officials in Chile and their US counterparts had been building for months ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.

Just before an official summit dinner for the 21 heads of state, Mr Bush was making his way inside the Estacion Mapocho cultural centre, when Chilean police sealed the entrance.

Six members of the US president's security team began clamouring for access.

Mr Bush, hearing the commotion, turned around and intervened.

Hours later, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos scrapped a gala dinner because the US was demanding that all guests must pass through metal detectors and possibly be searched.

"President Lagos considered it unacceptable that the top authorities in the country and leading businessmen be submitted to searches that are humiliating," a presidential aide told the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.

The banquet scheduled for Sunday, which was to have been held in Mr Bush's honour, was scaled down to a 20-person working dinner.


SEE ALSO:
Apec pushes for free trade boost
22 Nov 04 |  Americas
N Korea 'must halt weapon dreams'
21 Nov 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Asian giants to tackle tense ties
19 Nov 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Many detained in Chile protests
17 Nov 04 |  Americas
Oil fuels Asian giants' tensions
16 Nov 04 |  Asia-Pacific


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