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Rice at San Salvador Comalapa Intl. Airport

Remarks on Arrival at San Salvador Comalapa International Airport

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
San Salvador, El Salvador
April 29, 2005

It's a pleasure to be here in El Salvador. A strong ally in the global war on terror and a country that has come through so much to have a democratic present and a democratic future. This is a country that knows the value of freedom. The United States takes pride in our friendship. We have stood together in difficult times and in good times. In the dark days after September 11, El Salvador was one of the first countries to offer its support and friendship.

And we can all take pride in what our cultures have done in providing the people of Iraq an opportunity to vote for their freedom last January. Today Iraqis are learning what we all know, that freedom comes at a cost, but that there is nothing more important than the fight for freedom.

You have borne those costs here in El Salvador. Soldier Natividad Mendez Ramos gave his life for the cause of peace and freedom. History will bear witness to the great sacrifice of the Salvadoran people in the cause of freedom. And I want to thank too, on behalf of the American people, the contingents of El Salvador's Cuscatlan Battalion that have also worked so that many lives would be free.

I want to thank, too, the families of the Salvadoran soldiers who have fought and served. I know you have missed your loved ones. I know you have missed them in your homes and with your children. But they have been in the cause of freedom; and together we and El Salvador stand for that cause.

And so, thank you to President Saca, to the Salvadoran government and to the Salvadoran people for your support and your friendship in the cause of freedom.

Thank you.

2005/T6-21

ENDS


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