US President Bush meets Queen Elizabeth in farewell visit
US President George
W Bush, winding up his farewell tour of Europe, paid a visit with Queen
Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on Sunday, ahead of political talks slated
Monday with Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Bush, accompanied by his wife Laura, arrived for a traditional "Afternoon Tea" with the queen, while later Sunday the US couple were to be hosted at a gala dinner by Brown and his wife Sarah.
The political part of Bush's visit is on Monday, when the White House leader will go to 10 Downing Street for talks expected to concern developments in Iraq, Iran and the world economy.
In an interview in Sunday's Observer newspaper, Bush urged Brown not to jeopardise coalition forces' gains in Iraq with an early withdrawal of British troops.
Bush said there should be no "definitive timetable" for troop reductions, in comments following a report last week that Brown could announce a final pullout of the remaining 4,500 British forces from Iraq before the end of the year.
The White House leader said both he and Brown had discussed the issue of pullouts and that both wanted to bring their troops home, but said this could only be "based on success."
But as to a formal timetable for troop cutbacks, Bush said, "Our answer is: there should be no definitive timetable."
Later, a Downing street spokeswoman said that any reduction of forces depended on "conditions on the ground ... It is not our policy to set arbitrary timetables."
Bush's visit was taking place amid tight security measures which Scotland Yard said had been put in place. Thousands of officers were posted to duty as anti-war protests were expected.
After his talks with Brown, Bush is expected to meet with former premier and current special envoy to the Middle East, Tony Blair.
Bush along with Brown is also expected in Belfast, North Ireland, where the two will meet with North Irish First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
The Bush visit is the US politician's first to Britain since Brown became prime minister.
The White House leader is wrapping up a week-long tour of Europe which began June 9 in Slovenia to attend the US-European Union summit, followed by visits to Germany, Italy and France, dpa reported.