- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 14, 2003

President Bush, departing tomorrow for an eight-day trip to Southeast Asia, will press foreign leaders to contribute more resources to the international war on terror.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that “we would hope people would be generous.”

The president leaves today for California, where he will meet tomorrow with Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger before departing for Tokyo. After meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Mr. Bush heads to the Philippines on Saturday, then on to Thailand for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok.

From there, the president will travel to Singapore on Oct. 21-22; Bali on Oct. 22; and finally, Australia on Oct. 22-23, before heading to Honolulu, where he will tour Pearl Harbor before returning to Washington.

While urging allies to continue support for U.S. efforts to stabilize and rebuild Iraq, Mr. Bush will also press foreign leaders in the region known as the “second front” in the war on terrorism to step up their own efforts.

“Southeast Asia is an area of great concern on the terrorism front,” Miss Rice said. “It is an area that has al Qaeda affiliates; it’s an area that has extremist organizations. And part of what the president will want to do is to encourage those governments in Southeast Asia to remain, as they have been, to remain resolute in the fight on terrorism, to see what more we can do to assist.”

Although Miss Rice said Mr. Bush’s third trip to Asia “will not be an effort for the president to go out and make on his own behalf specific requests for troops or for money,” he will be keeping an eye on an upcoming donors conference on Iraq, which meets in Madrid on Oct. 23-24.

“He will, undoubtedly, remind people that we have a donors conference coming up and that we would hope people would be generous,” Miss Rice said.

Mr. Bush added the Tokyo stop in order to visit staunch ally Mr. Koizumi, who faces re-election next month. Mr. Koizumi is leading Japan toward providing up to $2 billion in grants to Iraq in 2004, with total aid reaching $5 billion, mostly in loans, from 2005 to 2007.

But a White House official said Mr. Bush will not devote all his time during the APEC meetings to wringing cash out of reluctant allies.

“As always, we will lay out our case and hope others see that it makes sense,” the official said.

Miss Rice said Mr. Bush will urge APEC “to discuss security issues, because while APEC is an economic forum, economics and security are inextricably linked. You only have to look at what happened in a place like Bali, when you had the terrorist attack there, you can see that the economy and terrorism are linked.”

Mr. Bush will make a brief visit to the Indonesian resort island of Bali, almost exactly one year after more than 200 people were killed when Muslim militants blew up two nightclubs crowded with foreign tourists, many from Australia, the last foreign stop on the president’s trip.

During bilateral meetings with several regional leaders, Mr. Bush will also talk about the year-old nuclear standoff with North Korea. Miss Rice said the need for a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula was likely to be included in the overall summit communique.

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