George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following a Discussion With Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Afghanistan Kai Eide

April 29, 2008

President Bush. I have just had a very constructive and important dialogue with the United Nations envoy to Afghanistan. Mr. Ambassador, thank you so very much for coming to the Oval Office, and thank you so much for serving the cause of peace.

Ambassador Eide. Thank you.

President Bush. You've been given a very difficult job, which is to help coordinate world—the world's efforts to help this young democracy succeed. And I want to assure you that the United States Government and I personally support you in everything you're going to do.

We've supported this—the creation of this position. We supported your nomination because you're a man of action, a man of determination, and a man willing to sacrifice to help the Karzai Government, but more importantly, help the people of Afghanistan realize the blessings of liberty.

The Afghan theater in this war against the extremists is a vital part of making sure that peace prevails. And no question, there's challenges. As I told the Ambassador, if this were easy, we wouldn't have selected a man of his caliber to—or the U.N. wouldn't have selected a man of his caliber to take on the task.

And so I appreciate your time. This is our first meeting, and I hope that—I know it won't be the last. He's given me good advice. He's given me a picture of what— on how the United States Government can help him accomplish his missions, and we're more than willing to help.

And so I welcome you to the Oval Office. And thank you for your great service.

Ambassador Eide. Thank you very much, Mr. President. For me, it's been an honor to be here and also to feel the support and confidence that you have shown me as I now take on this very difficult assignment. That support is very important to me; that I know that I have the confidence of the international community and also the confidence of the Afghan Government and the President of Afghanistan, which I feel very strongly——

President Bush. Yes, sir.

Ambassador Eide. ——after my first few weeks. That's—those are important tools for me in order to perform my duties effectively.

We also discussed one important event that lies ahead of us, which is the Paris conference on the 12th of June, and the importance of doing everything we can to mobilize support, mobilize donors, and also see to it that our efforts are as coordinated and as effective as they possibly can.

So thank you very much, Mr. President, for this occasion and for the support you give me.

President Bush. Thank you, sir. Glad you're here.

Ambassador Eide. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:48 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Discussion With Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Afghanistan Kai Eide Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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