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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 19, 2003

Remarks by President Bush in An Exchange of Toasts
Grand Palace
Bangkok, Thailand

7:40 P.M. (Local)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Your Majesty, for your warm and gracious welcome. Thanks also to Her Majesty, the Queen, for hosting this event. I thank, as well, the Grand Chamberlain who earlier today led us on a tour of the magnificent Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Laura and I have been seeing the famous hospitality of the Thai people, and we are most grateful.

The United States of America deeply values our alliance with the Kingdom of Thailand. Your Majesty, the world has changed greatly since your reign began 57 years ago. Yet thanks to your enlightened leadership and steady hand, the friendship between our two nations has remained constant.

Over the decades, we worked together to build the foundations of liberty in this region -- rule of law, respect for human rights, free enterprise and peace. Today we continue to strive toward the same goals in the face of different challenges. Nations are working together in Afghanistan and Iraq. Royal Thai troops have served well in both places, helping Afghans and Iraqis make the transition from tyranny to self-government.

The emergence of these free nations is a setback for terrorism and radicalism. By sharing the duties of our coalition, Thailand is contributing to peace and stability in those two countries and increasing the security of all free nations.

Thailand has played a vital role in East Timor, helping create a new nation, to bring dignity to nearly a million people and to stabilize an entire region. You are fully joined in the fight against the drug trade and against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Thailand is a principled, generous nation, rising to meet the challenges of our time. Thailand's positive influence in the world is inspired by the fine example of service that Your Majesty, and Her Majesty, the Queen, set for your people. It's also vivid in the great, humane traditions of this land. America is honored to have your friendship.

So I offer a toast to Your Majesties, to the Royal Family, and to your great nation. (A toast is offered.)


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