- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — As he prepares to herald the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, President Obama spoke by phone to former President George W. Bush.

Aides said Mr. Obama placed the call from Air Force One Tuesday as he flew to Fort Bliss in Texas to speak to U.S. troops. Mr. Obama is scheduled to address the nation on Iraq from the Oval Office at 8 p.m. EST.

Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said the call to Mr. Bush lasted a few minutes. But neither he nor others would relate what was said. Republicans have criticized Mr. Obama for opposing both the war and Mr. Bush’s troop surge plan while preparing to note with fanfare the successful handover of control to Iraqi forces.