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Remarks Following a Meeting With President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso

July 16, 2008

President Bush. Mr. President, thank you for coming. I first started my conversation with the President by complimenting him on his leadership in the United Nations and in the region. You've been a constructive force for peace and stability.

And we talked about Zimbabwe. I made my position abundantly clear that, one, we are disappointed with the veto of the U.N. Security Council resolution, for which both our nations worked in concert. Secondly, we deeply care about the plight of the citizens of Zimbabwe, and we hope there's a peaceful resolution soon. I told the President, in the meantime, our Government is looking at, you know, sanctions beyond that which would have been levied out of the U.N. Security Council.

I congratulated the President on the fact that his good nation is a recipient of a Millennium Challenge Account program. It's a program aimed to help farmers, entrepreneurs, and girls and women. It's the right thing to do, Mr. President. This grant would not have been awarded without your commitment to fighting corruption, your willingness to invest in the health and education of your people, and your adherence to marketplace principles. So I congratulate you, sir, on that.

Finally, I talked to him about issues that are dear to my heart, and that are the issues of HIV/AIDS. I congratulated his country for being effective at preventing the spread of AIDS. And we talked about malaria.

It's been my honor to have you here, sir. And I thank you for your leadership, and I thank you for your friendship. Hold on, go ahead.

President Compaore. First of all, the President and I seized this opportunity to meet, and the first thing I did was to show gratitude to President Bush for the engagement of the United States in favor of our country, Burkina Faso, and especially in terms of poverty reduction and economic development and all the help.

But I said to the President, other than Burkina Faso, all the continent of Africa is very grateful to initiatives taken by the United States administration in terms of debt reduction, public aid to development, fight against HIV/AIDS, and building schools in our country.

And we talked about the situation on the whole continent, the need for democracy and stability in Africa, and the urgent need for a true rule of law in Zimbabwe. We also talked about the need for a political solution to the crisis in Darfur, which is weighing very heavily in all Africa.

And again, I congratulate President Bush, Congress, and the American people for their commitment for Africa.

President Bush. Thank you, sir.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:18 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. President Compaore spoke in French, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Meeting With President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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