Obama and George W. Bush Team up in Africa



Mike O'Brien
07/02/2013

They were once political enemies, but on Tuesday President Obama and former President George W. Bush joined forces in Tanzania to honor Americans killed in an embassy bombing nearly 15 years ago.

Mr. Obama, accompanied by his wife and two daughters, arrived in the capital Dar es Salaam on Monday on the last leg of his week-long tour of sub-Saharan Africa.

Bush is also in Tanzania for a conference on African women organized by the George W. Bush Institute.

The White House announced on Monday that the two men would come together for a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of the 1998 bombings at the U.S. Embassy.

Eleven Americans died in the attack, which was masterminded by Osama bin Laden. The blasts mirrored a near-simultaneous bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, the birthplace of Obama's father.

First lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush also teamed up at the conference Tuesday for a joint discussion on promoting women's education, health and economic empowerment.

President Bush attended and is scheduled to deliver his own speech on Wednesday, after the Obamas have left the country.

During his African visit, Mr. Obama has credited Bush with helping save millions of lives by creating the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

During a visit to the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Center in Cape Town, South Africa, Mr. Obama said on Sunday: "The United States has really done wonderful work through the PEPFAR program, started under my predecessor, President Bush, and continued through our administration."

On Monday the President called for a new partnership with Africa. He said: "We are looking at a new model that’s based not just on aid and assistance but trade and partnership. Ultimately the goal here is for Africa to build Africa for Africans. Our job is to be a partner in that process."