George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following Discussions With Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in Heiligendamm

June 06, 2007

Chancellor Merkel. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this was our first meeting here during the G-8 meeting with the President of the United States of America. And we wanted to use this meeting in order to prepare the agenda of all of the issues that we're going to discuss here during the summit meeting. And it was a very satisfactory meeting, indeed, although in some areas there remain a few things here and there that we still need to discuss.

But what we would like to see coming out from this G-8 summit is, we would like to send a signal as to how we wishto shape globalization in the sense that we would like to give it a human face; we would like to shape it for human beings. We want to combat poverty. We want to ensure the freedom of investments. We want to also see to it that globalization respects the social dimension. We want to work on world trade issues. And there are a number of international conflicts that we wish to concentrate on and that we hope we will together be able to contain.

There are two priority issues that loom large on the agenda and could be seen, I believe, also in the preparatory phase leading up to this meeting. The first one is climate change, and the second one is combating poverty in Africa. And on these two issues, we just had a very intensive and a very good conversation, a very good debate. As I said, there are few areas here and there where we will continue to work on, but I trust that we will work out joint positions on that.

So let me say yet again, I do hope and trust that a very strong message will come out of this summit meeting, and we started here on a very good footing, indeed.

President Bush. Angela, thank you for your hospitality. You picked a beautiful site.

I'm appreciative of your leadership. I think that when people take an objective look at what's been accomplished here, people will see that there's been major progress made on key issues. I come with a deep desire to make sure that those suffering from HIV/AIDS on the continent of Africa know that they'll get help from the G-8. I come with a deep desire to work with people around the table to reduce malaria on the continent of Africa and feed the hungry. I know you share that desire as well. Thank you for your leadership.

I also come with a strong desire to work with you on a post-Kyoto agreement about how we can achieve major objectives. One, of course, is the reduction of greenhouse gases. Another is to become more energy independent, in our case, from crude oil from parts of the world that—where we've got some friends and sometimes we don't have friends. We have a good chance to share our technologies with the developing world to make sure that we're good stewards of the environment. And I thank you for your leadership on this issue, and I'm looking forward to working with our fellow G-8 members.

It's good to be back in this part of the world. And I know it takes a lot of hard work to put on one of these G-8s, and your team has done a fine job. Glad to be with you.

Thank you all.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 2:25 p.m. at the Kempinski Grand Hotel Heiligendamm. Chancellor Merkel spoke in German, and her remarks were translated by an interpreter.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following Discussions With Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in Heiligendamm Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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