George W. Bush photo

Remarks on Receiving Diplomatic Credentials From Ambassador Samir Shakir al-Sumaydi of Iraq

May 30, 2006

President Bush. It is my honor and pleasure to welcome the papers from Iraq's Ambassador to the United States. Mr. Ambassador, congratulations.

Ambassador al-Sumaydi. Thank you, Mr. President.

President Bush. You're now officially the Ambassador. I look forward to working with you, Mr. Ambassador, and the new Government, to help Iraq become a country that can govern itself and sustain itself and defend itself. I'm confident in the future of liberty in Iraq because I believe the people of Iraq want to live in a free society. And although there's been some very difficult times for the Iraqi people, I am impressed by the courage of the leadership, impressed by the determination of the people, and want to assure you, sir, that the United States stands ready to help the Iraqi democracy succeed.

So welcome here to the Oval Office. Thank you for coming.

Ambassador al-Sumaydi. Thank you, Mr. President. I am honored and privileged to serve as the Ambassador of free Iraq, after 16 years of isolation, to represent my country to this great country, to have a voice for the new elected Iraqi Government, and communicate directly with this administration and with the people of the United States, to express our ambitions and desire to live in peace and remove the scourge of terrorism from our land and help others remove it from theirs.

The President said a couple of days ago in his radio address that the terrorists can kill innocent people, but they cannot stop the march of freedom. I echo those words and say that the terrorists can target the innocent and the weak and the vulnerable, but they will never stop us establishing a democratic and free country.

I'm proud to represent this country to you, Mr. President.

President Bush. Thank you, Ambassador. Very well done. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:15 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A portion of these remarks could not be verified because the tape was incomplete.

George W. Bush, Remarks on Receiving Diplomatic Credentials From Ambassador Samir Shakir al-Sumaydi of Iraq Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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