TIRANA Reports that U.S. President George W. Bush had his wristwatch stolen while shaking hands with Albanians on his weekend visit are false, Albanian police and the U.S. embassy said on Tuesday.
"The story is untrue and the president did not lose his watch," a spokesman for the embassy in Tirana said.
Some newspapers, television stations and websites carried reports that Bush's watch vanished on Sunday when he was greeted by ecstatic crowds in Fushe Kruje, outside the capital Tirana.
"It is not true," said Albania's police director, Ahmet Prenci.
Photographs showed Bush, surrounded by five bodyguards, putting his hands behind his back so one of the bodyguards could remove his watch.