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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 17, 2006
President Bush Meets with Indian Prime Minister Singh
Konstantinovsky Palace Complex
8:11 A.M. (Local)
THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming over this morning. It's always a pleasure to be in your company. He's one of the really true gentlemen in the international arena. He's got a wonderful heart. I know you've been through difficult times, and America mourns the loss of innocent life as a result of the terrorist attacks.
One of the issues that we've been discussing here at the G8 is the recent terrorist activities in the Middle East. Yesterday, in working with other members of the G8, we cobbled together a very important statement. I'm most pleased that the leaders came together to say, look, we condemn violence, we honor innocent life.
However, for the first time we've really begun to address with clarity the root causes of the conflict, the recent conflict in the Middle East, and that is terrorist activity -- namely, Hezbollah, that's housed and encouraged by Syria, financed by Iran, are making these moves to stop the progress of peace. We would hope that by addressing the conditions of this violence we could get to a situation where there was calm. We're going to work hard as nations to address the root cause. Yesterday was an important statement. The reason I tell you that is that you'll find nations willing to work together for the common good here.
I also look forward to discussing with you our trade matters, as well as the wonderful deal you and I negotiated. Our Congress is working on that important piece of legislation that will encourage and allow India and U.S. cooperation, and I'm optimistic that we will get that passed.
At any rate, welcome, and thank you, sir. I'd be glad for you to make some comments.
PRIME MINISTER SINGH: Mr. President, thank you very much on your words of sympathy and support in the wake of these terrible terrorist acts in Mumbai and (inaudible). I've just been there -- 200 people, innocent men, women and children have perished, about 800 citizens injured -- (inaudible) -- in various hospitals. It was such a moving sight, people without limbs and always sad. And I'm grateful to you, you gave me help from Germany and I deeply appreciate your generosity. Your kindness, your sympathy and support mean a great deal to me, President. (Inaudible.)
Sir, your visit to our country in March, and in the company of the First Lady was a landmark. (Inaudible) are working together between our two countries. And I'm glad to report to you that we are making progress in all directions. India was the idea of getting the business community of our two countries engaged. You suggested we set up a CEOs forum. That forum is very active. It has produced a number of good ideas. We'll follow it up by an investor's summit towards the end of the year.
Sir, India is still very largely an agricultural country; 65 percent of all people live on land. And the initiative that you took, and (inaudible) put also your ideas and knowledge initiated a second green revolution in our country. We have now agreed on a road map. We have identified sectors like agricultural education, food processing, water management, (inaudible) as the key areas which will be the focus of this agriculture initiative. It means a great deal to us, to build a new trust to agricultural innovation, agricultural productivity. I thank your active support.
In science and technology also, Mr. President, we have now agreed to work together and invite national (inaudible) and science and technology coordinators (inaudible). They have no outline, a roadmap. And I am very happy that both our administrations are working very hard to give concrete meaning and substance to our cooperation.
And I thank you, Mr. President, for your efforts and Secretary Rice's effort in getting the legislation with regard to nuclear cooperation moving through the Congress. We have (inaudible) really intensely what has been written into these bills. And I must confess to you that while we deeply appreciate your personal involvement, Secretary Rice's (inaudible) -- she appeared before the Congress -- there are some concerns which (inaudible) -- believe our parliament. And like you, we are a democracy; we have a parliament which is very jealous of what we do and what we don't do. And we have -- these concerns are made, and I sincerely hope that we can find constructive solutions to all these problems. So this truly is landmark cooperation.
I recall it -- I said to you that, Mr. President, that this is a (inaudible) consideration of India and the U.S. (Inaudible).
END 8:17 A.M. (Local)