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Bush to meet Obama in White House next week
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U.S. President George W. Bush said Thursday that he would meet President-elected Barack Obama for the first time in the Oval Office next Monday.

The current and future presidents will discuss daunting tasks facing the United States, including economy, the Iraq war and priorities during the transition.

"We face economic challenges that will not pause to let a new president settle in," Bush said. "This will also be America's first wartime presidential transition in four decades."

Bush urged his staff to ensure the smooth transition of the White House to his successor.

US President Bush speaks to administration employees on the upcoming transition November 6, 2008, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC. Bush said Thursday he and president-elect Barack Obama would discuss major issues like global economic turmoil and the war in Iraq "early next week." [AFP Photo]

Obama's aid confirmed that the president-elect and his wife had received invitation to visit the White House Monday.

"I thank him for reaching out in the spirit of bipartisanship," he said in a statement.

Obama, who was elected as the next U.S. president, received his first presidential-style intelligence briefing in Chicago Thursday.

He would appear in public for the first time after his win in the presidential election, meeting with his economic advisers to discuss the financial meltdown and then news media.

The Illinois senator will be sworn in as the 44th U.S. president on Jan. 20, 2009.

The White House has already begun to prepare for the transition, arranging security clearances for Obama's key transitional staffers and providing briefings for the newly-elected.

"We must keep our attention on the task at hand, because the American people expect no less," Bush said to the employees.

(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2008)


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