WASHINGTON (CNN) – It’s not often that a Democrat compliments President George W. Bush, but at an event on African policy Tuesday, former Democratic Congressman and Atlanta mayor Andrew Young had glowing praise for President Bush on the issue of Africa.
Before Bush arrived to deliver his remarks on African policy, Young, former Ambassador to the United Nations during the Carter administration, praised the President and his wife Laura for their work in Africa.
“They have been encouraging democracy and development, trade and still not neglecting the needs of AIDS and malaria and education on the African continent,” Young told the audience.
Following the president’s speech, Young told President Bush “I think your policies [in Africa] are paying off for America in many other ways.”
During his speech, President Bush said that his recent trip to Africa was “without a doubt…the most exciting, exhilarating, uplifting trip I've taken since I've been the President. It was an unbelievable experience.”
Bush’s six-day, five-nation tour of Africa last week was his second trip to the continent and Laura Bush’s fifth. While on the trip, the president announced numerous African initiatives including funds for tropical disease research, the distribution of over 5 million free bed nets to prevent malaria, and he encouraged Congress to increase funding for HIV/AIDS relief.
–CNN White House Producer Xuan Thai