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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 March 2007, 15:08 GMT
Bush promotes trade with Uruguay
Anti-Bush protest in Montevideo
Thousands of protesters greeted Mr Bush's arrival
US President George Bush has met his Uruguayan counterpart, Tabare Vazquez, as part of his five-nation Latin American tour to promote trade.

Mr Bush arrived in Montevideo from Brazil - where he signed a deal to develop alternative fuel sources.

Uruguay is keen to sign free trade deals with the US, even if it means leaving the Mercosur trade bloc.

The tour attracted protests in Brazil and about 5,000 protesters gathered in Uruguay for Mr Bush's visit.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is conducting his own tour of the region and addressed 40,000 anti-Bush protesters in Argentina, across the River Plate from Uruguay.

He told the rally on Friday that Latin America should stand together to fight US influence and called Mr Bush a "political corpse".

Doha deal

Mr Bush has defended his country's record in helping Latin American countries to fight poverty. He denied he had neglected the region.

Mr Bush said his trip was "a statement of desire to work together with people".

Map

In a joint news conference at Mr Vazquez's presidential retreat in Anchorena Park, some 200km (124 miles) west of Montevideo, President Bush said trade was the best tool for fighting poverty.

He said he had spoken to Mr Vazquez about the need to reach a deal on the Doha talks to liberalise world trade and was optimistic agreement could be reached at a global level.

Developing nations have said that aspects of the talks, including issues of trade tariffs, may hurt poorer countries.

Mr Bush said the US was prepared to reduce agricultural subsidies but wanted to ensure market access for its own goods.

The news conference was dominated by media questions about Mr Chavez's trip.

The US president refused to answer a question about why he would not acknowledge the Venezuelan president by name.

Mr Bush will later continue to Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico while Mr Chavez heads for Bolivia.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
President Bush talks trade as he tours Latin America



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