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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 02:37 GMT 03:37 UK
Bush in tribute to outgoing Blair
George Bush and Tony Blair
Mr Bush expressed the respect he holds for Tony Blair
US President George Bush has paid tribute to the "very talented" outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Mr Bush told the Sun newspaper that the description of Mr Blair as a poodle of the president was "silly ridicule".

The president's comments came on the eve of Mr Blair's departure from No 10 to make way for Gordon Brown.

Mr Bush said he had a "good meeting" with Mr Brown when he visited Washington, and that he "wasn't the image of the dour Scotsman at all".

'Same foxhole'

The president told the Sun: "Tony's had a great run and history will judge him kindly. He's a very talented man for whom I've got a great deal of respect."

Mr Bush added: "I've heard he's been called Bush's poodle. He's bigger than that.

"We are working together to achieve global peace in the face of enormous danger. This kind of thing is just silly ridicule and that's how I treat it."

HAVE YOUR SAY
He is certainty not President Bush's poodle. He is cleaver enough to act on his own
Elad, Tel Aviv

He said they had served together during a time of war and "found each other in the same foxhole".

The president added: "Tony's great skill, and I wish I had it, is that he's very articulate. I wish I was a better speaker."

Mr Brown is set to become British prime minister on Wednesday when the Queen is expected to formally offer him the role, bringing to an end Mr Blair's 10 years in power.


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