George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following Discussions With President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso of the European Commission

October 18, 2005

President Bush. It's my pleasure to welcome back to the Oval Office my friend Jose Barroso. Welcome.

President Durao Barroso. Thank you.

President Bush. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to come and visit and talk about U.S.-EU relations. I told Jose that it's very important for the people in Europe to know that America values our relationship, wants the EU to succeed, wants to work in collaboration to achieve some big objectives. One is to lay the foundation for peace by spreading democracy and freedom. And I appreciate your understanding, and thank you for working closely on that.

Secondly is to help enhance the prosperity of our respective countries as well as the world, through promoting free and fair trade. We talked about what it requires to get the Doha round moving forward. We had a good, frank discussion on that, and there's no question we share the same objective.

We talked about what we can do to work together to move forward on a lot of issues. The main thing I came away from, again, is, one, I value Jose's leadership, his advice but also how important the relationship between the EU and the United States is and that we can achieve a lot of important things when we work together.

So welcome back. Thank you for hosting me last winter. I'm proud to have you here.

President Durao Barroso. Thank you very much. It's a great pleasure for me to be, once again, here in White House with President Bush. I thank him and the First Lady for their kind and friendly hospitality.

As President Bush said, this relation is very important, most of all because we share exactly the same values of freedom, democracy, and human rights, and we complement each other in pushing forward this agenda, but also in economic terms. We have now a trade relation of more than $1 billion a day. So together, we are 40 percent of world trade. So we have a common interest in opening up markets. We very much in the European Union are looking forward for a success of those talks. We want it to have ambitious and balanced result on agriculture but not only in agriculture. I want to underline this point, services for instance, is very important, so that our citizens can really see the benefits of globalization. And we want to work together, the United States also, engaging others, emerging markets, but also thinking about less developed countries, engaging them constructively for this—the success of these talks.

These were the main issues that I had the pleasure, once again, to discuss with President Bush in his very frank and friendly manner. I really believe we have a lot to do together, the European Union and United States.

President Bush. Thanks, Jose. Appreciate you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:50 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following Discussions With President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso of the European Commission Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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