World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Bush and Blair Blair Discuss Iraq, NATO Meeting

President and Prime Minister Blair Discuss Iraq, NATO Meeting

Chief of Mission Residence
U.S. Embassy Belgium
Brussels, Belgium

PRESIDENT BUSH: I just had a good breakfast. I always enjoy being with my friend, Tony Blair. We talked about the progress being made in Iraq, and I want to congratulate you on your vision. The Iraqis are -- you know, have defied the terrorists and showed the world they want to live in a free society, and we're there to help them achieve that.

I'm looking forward to the NATO meeting today. NATO is a vital relationship for the United States and for Europe. And I'm looking forward to meeting with the EU, as well. As I said in my speech yesterday, a strong Europe is very important for the United States, and I really meant that. And the Prime Minister is one of the strong leaders in Europe, and I really enjoy my relationship with him.

PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: First of all, I'm pleased to come and talk to the President again and go through the range of different issues that we face in the world today. And I both welcome the President's speech yesterday very much and thanked him for it. And I think what it sets out is a very clear way forward for us now. Whatever the differences in the international community have been over the past couple of years, I think we have a really solid basis now for going forward in a unified way. And if we take that opportunity, it will be greatly for the benefit of the international community.

We can see this, obviously, with Iraq, where after the democratic elections that are held now, it's possible to see a way forward in which Iraq can become a stable and a prosperous and a democratic state. And after all the tragedies of the past and the dictatorship and the loss of life under Saddam, there's now real prospect for the Iraqi people. And that, joined to what has happened in Afghanistan, I think gives us real hope for the future.

In addition, the President set out very clearly a way forward on the Middle East peace process. There's a renewed sense of vigor and optimism in that process. And with the London conference coming up next week, I think we've got every possibility now of trying to reach a settlement, which I think would do so much for international relations worldwide.

Then, of course, we also went through many of the other issues, to the upcoming G8 later in the year and so on. So it was, as ever, a very constructive, very useful discussion across a whole range of issues. And as I say, I think that yesterday's speech and today's meeting at NATO gives us an opportunity to restate for people in Europe and in America the fundamental importance of this transatlantic alliance. It's been a cornerstone of our security for many, many years; it's based on shared values; it's absolutely the right thing for us to have at the center of our relations. And we'll do everything we can to make sure that that relationship is strong.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC