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 Home > News & Policies > May 2006

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 30, 2006

President Bush Welcomes Iraq's Ambassador to the United States
The Oval Office

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11:15 A.M. EDT

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

AMBASSADOR SUMAIDAIE: 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.

President George W. Bush exchanges handshakes with Samir Sumaidaie, Iraq's Ambassador to the United States, after receiving his credentials during an Oval Office ceremony Tuesday, May 30, 2006. Ambassador Sumaidaie is the first ambassador of a freely-elected, democratic Iraqi Government in decades.  White House photo by Paul Morse So welcome here to the Oval Office. Thank you for coming.

AMBASSADOR SUMAIDAIE: 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 these 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.

END 11:17 A.M. EDT