George W. Bush photo

Remarks at a State Dinner Honoring President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya

October 06, 2003

[The President's remarks are joined in progress.]

It is a real honor for us to welcome you. Our two nations are old friends and natural partners. We both emerged from a colonial past to become free nations. We stood together during the cold war, opposing imperial communism. Today, we stand together against the forces of terror and in the defense of human dignity.

We both understand the danger and cost of terrorism. It has brought damage to both our economies and grief to both our nations. With us tonight are two women who suffered terribly on August 7, 1998. Susan Hirsch lost her husband, Abdulrahman Mohamed Abdulla, a Kenyan citizen, in the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. And Susan Bartley lost her husband, Julian, our U.S. Consul General, and her son, Jay, when the terrorists struck our Embassy in Nairobi. Both of you are honored guests here tonight, and we honor as well the memory of your loved ones.

America and Kenya are committed to the war on terror, and we seek a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror. Kenya is finding what America has found, that democracy and liberty and free markets are honorable and just and indispensable to real progress. The challenges of freedom are real; yet the benefits of freedom are great and everlasting.

There is a Swahili proverb which says, "Forever persist; a rope can cut stone." Kenya and its leaders have been persistent and courageous in the cause of freedom. You're resolved in the fight against terror. Kenya is an example to all of Africa and a respected partner of America.

For all these reasons, Mr. President, I'm pleased to offer a toast to the enduring friendship between Kenya and the United States of America.

NOTE: The President spoke at 8:36 p.m. in the State Dining Room at the White House. The transcript issued by the Office of the Press Secretary did not include the complete opening portion of President Bush's remarks but did include the remarks of President Kibaki.

George W. Bush, Remarks at a State Dinner Honoring President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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