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Bush, Chirac Remarks After Meeting at G8 Summit

Bush, Chirac Remarks After Meeting at G8 Summit

Discussions focused on world poverty, world peace, Ira

qPresident Bush and French President Jacques Chirac discussed world poverty, world peace and Iraq during their meeting at the G8 Summit on Sea Island, Georgia, June 10, Bush told journalists during a joint photo opportunity afterwards.

"[O]ne of the issues that we talked about was NATO and whether or not there is a continued role in Iraq for NATO," Bush said, adding: "I assured the President we will continue to consult closely. ... [W]e understand that the Iraqi people need help to defend themselves, to rebuild their country -- and, most importantly, to hold elections."

Chirac in turn thanked Bush both for his hospitality during the G8 Summit and for having made the trip to France earlier in the month for the D-Day celebrations in Normandy.

Following is the White House transcript of their remarks:

(begin transcript)

Office of the Press Secretary
(Sea Island, Georgia)
June 10, 2004


Dunbar House
Sea Island, Georgia

9:45 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT BUSH: It's good to have yet another discussion with Jacques Chirac. We had a wonderful visit in Paris. And, again, I want to thank you for your hospitality. The food was superb, the hospitality warm --


PRESIDENT BUSH: -- and our discussions were meaningful.

We continued our discussions about world poverty and world peace. Of course, we talked about Iraq. We had our differences in the past, but we're friends and friends are able to discuss the future. And our hope is for peace and freedom around the world.

We consulted on some NATO, we're partners in NATO. We talked about a lot of issues, and one of the issues that we talked about was NATO and whether or not there is a continued role in Iraq for NATO. I assured the President we will continue to consult closely. The point is, is that we understand that the Iraqi people need help to defend themselves, to rebuild their country -- and, most importantly, to hold elections.

And I appreciate the chance to visit with Jacques.

PRESIDENT CHIRAC: (As translated.) Can I first of all say, as I said yesterday, tell President Bush our gratitude and our feelings of gratitude and our feelings of gratitude of the French people as a whole, in the context of the D-Day celebrations. D-Day was something that was terribly important for all the French people, and once again I'd like to thank the President for having made the trip and having heard, himself, the French people speak their words of thanks and gratitude and friendship. It was very moving for us.

And I also wanted to come and congratulate him for the way in which the G8 was organized and conducted. It is a success.

We had an opportunity during the summit to discuss a number of issues. We've just reviewed some with our colleagues from the Middle East yesterday, we'll be doing so with our colleagues from Africa today. And this gave us an opportunity of reviewing the major areas of concerns for today's world, to better understand each other and also to prove our efforts for peace, development and human rights.

And as I said, I'd like to thank once again the President for the hospitality here. The President was kind enough to mention French cuisine, but I can tell you that over the last few days, this cuisine here in America was certainly on a par with French cuisine and I ask the President to convey my thanks to the chef.

PRESIDENT BUSH: He particularly liked the cheeseburger he had yesterday. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT CHIRAC: It was excellent. (Laughter.)


END 9:50 A.M. EDT

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