George W. Bush photo

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel

June 04, 2008

President Bush. Mr. Prime Minister, welcome back. First of all, I want to thank you and your good bride for being such gracious hosts to Laura and me. I loved my trip to Israel. It was really a meaningful trip, and a lot of it had to do with your gracious hospitality. So I welcome you back here to Washington. You come back as my friend; I'm glad to see my friend.

I'm looking forward to our discussions on the issues that we have spent a lot of time discussing up to now. We'll be, of course, talking about the Palestinian issue, the peace process. Now, we'll be talking about Lebanon. I'm looking forward to your wisdom about how you see the Syrian issue. And finally, we're going to spend a lot of time talking about Iran. Iran is an existential threat to peace, and it's very important for the world to take the Iranian threat seriously, which the United States does, as the Prime Minister will tell you. And we will continue our discussions about that subject as well.

So glad you're here. Good to see you.

Prime Minister Olmert. Thank you very much, President.

President Bush. Yes, sir.

Prime Minister Olmert. Thank you. Well, I am delighted to be again at the Oval Office as a guest of my friend President Bush. We enjoyed tremendously your visit in Israel. From a national point of view, people of Israel were absolutely excited and moved by your spectacular speech in the Knesset, which was the best expression of the United States commitment to the security and the well-being of the State of Israel, which was appreciated by everyone in the State of Israel.

And we had many discussions, that you have mentioned, on the main issues: the peace process with the Palestinians, situation in Lebanon, the contacts that, hopefully, may lead to pull out Syria from the axis of evil, which is very important; and also, naturally, about the main threat to all of us, which is Iran. And as you said, President, indeed we talked all about this.

From a personal point of view, I can only say that I admire your friendship and your commitment and your emotions, as they were expressed in such a powerful manner in your visit to the State of Israel.

President Bush. Thank you.

Prime Minister Olmert. And they loved you and Laura very much. And part of my mission is to make you feel this way. Thank you very much.

President Bush. Thank you very much.

Prime Minister Olmert. Thank you.

President Bush. Thank you all.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:54 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Aliza Olmert, wife of Prime Minister Olmert.

George W. Bush, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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