George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following a Meeting With President Jalal Talabani of Iraq in Baghdad, Iraq

December 14, 2008

President Talabani. Today we have the pleasure and honor of receiving our great friend for Iraqi people, President George W. Bush, who helped us to liberate our country and to reach this day, which we have democracy, human rights, and prosperity gradually in our country. Thanks to him and to his courageous leadership that we are here now in this building.

So we are very glad really to have him with us, and we discussed with him all our problems very frankly and friendly. And we hope that we will continue friendship with him, even he'll be back in Texas.

President Bush. Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you and the Vice Presidents for greeting me. I've known these men for a long time, and I have come to admire them for their courage and for their determination to succeed. I am also here to herald the passage of the SFA/SOFA as a reminder of our friendship and as a way forward to help the Iraqi people realize the blessings of a free society.

And the work hasn't been easy, but it has been necessary for American security, Iraqi hope, and world peace. And so, Mr. President, thank you for your friendship, and thank you for your hospitality. I'm looking forward to meeting all the folks who are involved in the political process— leading this political process. And I am just so grateful that I had a chance to come back to Iraq before my Presidency ends.

President Talabani. You are welcome.

President Bush. Thank you.

President Talabani. They want a picture with you, Mr. President.

President Bush. Oh, absolutely.

NOTE: The President spoke at 6:01 p.m. at Al Salam Palace. In his remarks, he referred to Vice Presidents Tariq al-Hashimi and Adil Abd Al-Mahdi of Iraq. The President also referred to SFA, the strategic framework agreement; and SOFA, the status of forces agreement.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Meeting With President Jalal Talabani of Iraq in Baghdad, Iraq Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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