George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following Discussions With President Michelle Bachelet Jeria of Chile

June 08, 2006

President Bush. It is such an honor for me to welcome to the Oval Office the President of Chile. Madam President, welcome.

President Bachelet. Thank you.

President Bush. I was told ahead of time that I was to meet a very charming person, and my briefers were right. I appreciate very much your dedication to values that are important: human rights and human decency, the right for people to be able to speak freely and to vote. I admire your personal story. I also thought it was very interesting that the President, before she came to see me, went by a middle school where she had been educated. It shows that she's dedicated to education and the welfare of the people.

I assured her that the United States of America shares her same sense of social justice and that our desire is to help, when we can, people to become educated so they can realize their dreams.

We talked about the neighborhood. She shared with me her strategy to encourage there to be peaceful development and prosperous development. I assured the President that I'm very interested in her points of view. I look forward to working with you. The neighborhood is very important to the United States of America; it's very important for our country to be engaged and working with friends and allies to help others. And so I've been looking forward to this meeting for quite a while. We've got very good relations with Chile, and I intend to keep them that way.

And Madam President, you're welcome. I'm really glad you're here.

President Bachelet. Thank you, Mr. President.

[At this point, President Bachelet spoke in Spanish, and no translation was provided.]

President Bachelet. I am very glad to be here, and as President Bush has said, Chile and the United States have very good relationships, and we'll continue that way. And we have political, commercial relationships, and we have been—we really are happy of how our relations have developed. And we have talked and shared opinions about how we can build peace, how can we fight together against poverty, for social justice, how we can help strengthen democracy in the region. And how we also can look at the issues as energy innovation, education, health, and so on.

It's for me an honor to be here. And as I live here as a child and then as an adult, it's always for me a wonderful possibility to be in a country where I have learned to love the American people, where I learned to—some experiences as how you can live in a country with difference, with different cultures, tradition, the different ethnic groups, and that's possible, and how you can integrate. And we want to integrate more in the region; we want to continue developing the best relationships with the United States, with the Government; and we hope we succeed in this covenant.

Thank you; Mr. President.

President Bush. Thank you, appreciate it.

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 Michelle Bachelet Jeria of Chile Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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