Here is the article from The Eagle (Or as I call it, The Buzzard)
Bush Center to host British Prime Minister Blair
By LAURA HIPP
Eagle Staff Writer
British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be in College Station on Sunday to speak at the George Bush Presidential Library Center.
Texas A&M will roll out the maroon carpet for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is scheduled to speak Sunday at the George Bush Presidential Library Center.
Blair will discuss U.S. and British involvement in Afghanistan following a visit with President Bush at his Crawford ranch, said Roman Popadiuk, executive director of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. The leaders are meeting this weekend in Central Texas.
Blair’s speech is tentatively scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and is co-sponsored by the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation and the university. There also will be a question-and-answer session with the audience.
Blair’s trip to College Station could be canceled if British officials decide he should return to England. The country is in a mourning period after Queen Mother Elizabeth died Saturday.
The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, the Singing Cadets and the Ross Volunteers, which are the Texas governor’s honor guard, may welcome Blair upon his arrival. Those celebrations also are tentative because of the queen mother’s death.
Easterwood Airport is making preparations for a British Airways Boeing 777 to arrive Sunday morning. Blair is arriving from Crawford by helicopter and will leave for England after his speech.
John Happ, director of Easterwood Airport, said the 777 will be the largest plane ever to land at the facility. British Airways has determined that the Easterwood runway can withstand the weight of the aircraft, he said.
“We’re extremely excited to host Mr. Blair,” Happ said.
Popadiuk said Blair was invited to College Station by former President George Bush. Blair will tour the museum before speaking to the public.
Tighter security measures are in effect, and no handbags, backpacks, cameras or other personal belongings will be allowed in the conference center.
Blair became prime minister in 1997, and was re-elected last year. He will arrive in the United States as criticism from several European countries and some British has begun to build over President Bush’s desire to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq as part of the war on terrorism.
The topic is sure to be discussed when the two leaders meet in Crawford this weekend, said R.J.Q. Adams, a Texas A&M history professor.
“There are concerns among America’s friends about the events since September,” Adams said. “By and large, response throughout the world has been really supportive. Who has been closer to America than Britain?”
Despite small strains of criticism, the bond between the countries continues to hold, Adams said.
The relationship between Blair and the president appears to be positive and crosses party ideology, Adams said. Blair’s Labor Party is similar to the Democratic Party in the United States.
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