George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following Discussions With President Tabare Vazquez of Uruguay

May 04, 2006

President Bush. Bienvenidos. It's been a distinct pleasure to welcome the President to the Oval Office. We've had a very extensive conversation about—we talked about a lot of subjects. We talked about the human condition. We talked about our mutual desire to improve lives through good education and health care. I assured the President that the billions of dollars of aid that we spend in the neighborhood are all aimed at justice and giving people a chance to realize their dreams.

We talked about ways to make sure there's better student exchanges between our countries. It made a lot of sense. After all, the President was educated—or received some education in my home state of Texas, at M.D. Anderson.

We talked about extending our commercial relations. One of the interesting topics that the President brought up was renewable energy, a subject that is very dear to my heart and necessary for our country. And finally, I shared some thoughts with the President about my deep desire to help countries become free, so that this world is more peaceful.

I—in short, it was a very extensive dialog. And finally, he shared with me the joy of being a grandfather. Obviously, he's a good man because he's got such pride in his family.

And so I welcome you here, sir. Thank you for coming.

President Vazquez. Mr. President, thank you very much for your kindest attention. It's, for us, a great opportunity to speak— but I speak Spanish.

President Bush. Si. [Laughter]

President Vazquez. Y tu tambien.

Thank you very much, Mr. President. I want to thank you very much for your welcome. This is one more show of friendship that has been a very deep friendship between our countries from the very beginning.

We've had a very kind and extensive exchange of opinions with President Bush. First of all, we recalled the bilateral investment treaty that was recently signed by our two countries in which we have—and we have now also agreed to work to expand, intensify, and strengthen our trade relations. In fact, our technical people are going to be meeting within the framework of our joint commission in a few months in Montevideo, and we've agreed that we are going to be kicking off work at that time.

I will not extend on the points that have—the items that have already been referred to by the President, but I do want to thank you very much.

And to the Uruguayan people who are listening to me, I want to say to all of you: Without exception, without exclusions, together we will continue to work jointly on this path that we have undertaken in order to further the standard of life with our people, through education, through health care, through more and better jobs, and through decent salaries for all our people, and to truly insert Uruguay on the path of globalization.

Thank you very much.

President Bush. Gracias, senior. Gracias.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:09 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. President Vazquez spoke in Spanish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following Discussions With President Tabare Vazquez of Uruguay Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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