George W. Bush back after being hit by stomach ailment

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany (AP) -- U.S. President George W. Bush returned to the Group of Eight summit after falling ill earlier on Friday with a stomach ailment, a White House spokesman said.

"The White House had a good rest this morning. He's feeling better," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. "He's not 100 percent but he feels good enough to rejoin the meeting. He just left his suite a little while ago and we are back on schedule."

Fratto confirmed that Bush would attend a luncheon with fellow G8 leaders and the heads of five developing countries.

Bush skipped the morning meetings on the last day of the summit after coming down with what White House counsellor Dan Bartlett said was a stomach ailment that was "not serious".

"Not sure if it's a stomach virus yet or something like that, but (he's) just not feeling well in the stomach, and guess he didn't want to follow in the footsteps of his father in Asia," Bartlett told reporters earlier on Friday.

In January 1992, President George Bush, the father of the current U.S. leader, vomited and collapsed during a state dinner at Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa's residence.

Later Bartlett said Bush's ailment was probably viral rather than related to something he ate.

Bush kept a scheduled early-morning bilateral meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but in his private quarters.

"Despite the fact the president is feeling very much under the weather, they were able to conduct a very substantive meeting," Bartlett said after the meeting.

The new French leader confirmed Bush was "slightly unwell".

Bush is due to travel from Germany to neighbouring Poland later on Friday. There were no changes to the schedule, Bartlett said.

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