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24 September 2001

Transcript: President Bush, Prime Minister Chretien at the White House

(Bush thanks Canadians for support following Sept. 11 attacks) (840)
President Bush welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien to the
White House September 24 for talks that focused on U.S.-Canada
cooperation in the global campaign against terrorism following the
Sept. 11 attacks against U.S. targets.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the Prime Minister and the Canadian
people will work hard to make sure that Canada is secure from any
terrorist activity that takes place, just like I can assure the Prime
Minister we're doing the same," Bush said. "We both have a mutual
responsibility in our hemisphere to find and disrupt terrorist
organizations."
Following is the White House transcript of their remarks:
(begin transcript)
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
September 24, 2001
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER CHRETIEN OF CANADA
The Colonnade
12:00 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: It's my honor to welcome our close friend, Jean
Chretien, to the White House again. Thank you for coming.
You know, after this terrible incident on September 11th, one of the
first phone calls I received was from the Prime Minister, offering all
his support and condolences to the United States and our citizens. It
was like getting a phone call from a brother. And I appreciate that so
very much.
We've got a great partner in our neighborhood who understands what I
know, that we are facing a new type of war. And those of us who love
freedom, like the Canadians love freedom, now understand that freedom
is under attack. And we've combined together to fight -- to fight
against a new enemy. And the Prime Minister understands that.
We had a great discussion about a variety of issues. We discussed the
need for us to continue to work peacefully along a huge border. Border
relations between Canada and Mexico have never been better. And there
is no doubt in my mind that the Prime Minister and the Canadian people
will work hard to make sure that Canada is secure from any terrorist
activity that takes place, just like I can assure the Prime Minister
we're doing the same. We both have a mutual responsibility in our
hemisphere to find and disrupt terrorist organizations.
An amazing thing came up the other day. Somebody said to me, well, you
know, in your speech to Congress, there were some that took affront in
Canada because I didn't mention the name. I didn't necessarily think
it was important to praise a brother; after all, we're talking about
family.
There should be no doubt in anybody's mind about how honored we are to
have the support of the Canadians, and how strong the Canadian Prime
Minister has been. And not only his condolences, but his offer of
support for the American people. I guess there's -- somebody is
playing politics with you, Mr. Prime Minister.
But I suggest those who try to play politics with my words and drive
wedges between Canada and me, understand that at this time, when
nations are under attack, now is not the time for politics. Now is the
time to develop a strategy to fight and win the war. And Mr. Prime
Minister, I want to thank you for being here to continue those efforts
with me.
PRIME MINISTER CHRETIEN: Thank you, Mr. President. And I am happy to
be with you. I think that, as you say, we're part of -- not America,
we're you're neighbor, friends and family. And we have to work
together. This problem of terrorism is a problem that concerns all the
nations of the world. And we're working together to build a coalition
that will defeat that, because it will disrupt the societies around
the world. And I think that you know you have the support of
Canadians. When you will need us, we will be there.
We had a very good discussion this morning on the element of the
solutions and we will carry on during the lunch time. I guess that the
Canadians were traumatized by what happened two weeks ago. And we had
the occasion to receive 45,000 Americans on the Canadian soil who had
to be diverted to Canada. And we had a great demonstration of support
when 100,000 Canadians appeared on the hill to offer support to our
neighbor and friends and family, the Americans.
So we will work together. We will have occasion to carry this message
that we have to be together, because Canada participates in the
meeting of the Commonwealth next -- 10 days from now, in Australia.
And later on, there will be the meeting of the Francophone in Lebanon,
where, again, we'll have to talk to all the leaders and tell them that
we're all in that fight.
(Remarks in French.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
(end transcript)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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