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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 11, 2003
President Bush Thanks Ugandan President for Leadership
The Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel
3:00 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT MUSEVENI: So here is your chance to see the heart of Africa. Because from where we are to Cape Town is about five-and-a-half hours by plane. From here to Alexandria is five hours. From here to Senegal is seven hours by plane. From here to the Indian Ocean is three hours. To reach the center of the continent is only two hours. And no tour will be complete (inaudible).
But we are most grateful that (inaudible) support, the financial support. But most important, the opening of the markets, because when somebody buys what I produce, he is giving me a little support. Why? First of all, he is giving me money (inaudible) because once I produce is a great example.
So we are very, very grateful you are helping, United States. Thank you so much.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, sir. Mr. President, thank you for your hospitality. We have come at your invitation to herald your leadership. You have been a strong advocate of free trade because you understand the benefits of trade. My administration supports AGOA and the promises and opportunities that AGOA brings. You have been a strong leader in helping to resolve regional disputes. I want to thank you for that leadership.
And your country, as you noted, is strategically located in the heart of Africa. And therefore, you're drawn into a lot disputes. And you've done an excellent job of using your prestige and your position to help resolve those disputes. And we -- I will continue to work with you to bring peace on the continent.
And finally, Mr. President, you have been a world leader -- not just a leader on the continent of Africa, but a world leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. You have shown the world what is possible in terms of reducing infection rates. You have been honest and open about the AIDS pandemic, and therefore have led your people to seek prevention and treatment and help and love.
And so, Mr. President, we come to herald your leadership and to assure you and to assure the people of Uganda that when it comes to the struggle against hopelessness and poverty and disease that you've got a friend in the United States. Thank you very much, sir.
PRESIDENT MUSEVENI: Thank you.
MR. DICKENS: Thank you, all.
Q Mr. President, can you take a question, sir, on the --
MR. DICKENS: Thank you, all.
UGANDAN SPOKESPERSON: Those -- you had the statements from our two presidents. And actually we are asking you, that you report what you've seen here. So we are pleased, really --
Q With all due respect, Mr. President, can you take a question, sir?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Sure.
Q Why -- can you explain how an erroneous piece of intelligence on the Iraq-Niger connection got into your State of the Union speech? Are you upset about it, and should somebody be held accountable, sir?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I gave a speech to the nation that was cleared by the intelligence services. And it was a speech that detailed to the American people the dangers posed by the Saddam Hussein regime. And my government took the appropriate response to those dangers. And as a result, the world is going to be more secure and more peaceful.
Q But, sir, how did it get into your speech if it was erroneous?
PRESIDENT MUSEVENI: Thank you so much.
END 3:05 P.M. EDT