For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 20, 2006
President Bush Welcomes Salva Kiir of Sudan to the White House
The Oval Office
In Focus: Global Diplomacy
12:15 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT BUSH: It's been my honor to welcome a man who wears two hats to the Oval Office: Vice President of all Sudan, as well as the President of Southern Sudan. We've had a fascinating discussion. Welcome, Mr. Vice President, I'm glad you're here. Thank you for coming.
I assured our friend that the United States is committed to helping the Sudanese people; we're committed to making sure that the peace agreement that we helped you negotiate is implemented. We're also committed to helping the people in Darfur.
I want to thank you for spending time with me to strategize about what we can do to save lives in Darfur. Our strategy that we want AU forces to be complemented and blue-helmeted -- in other words, the United Nations should be invited in. We talked about how best to get that done in order to save lives. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done.
But I want to thank you for coming to our country and sharing with me some of your thoughts and your vision for the people you represent. So welcome to the Oval Office.
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT KIIR: Thank you very much, Your Excellency, President. Well, we are delighted to be in this office at the invitation of His Excellency, the President of the United States of America. It is a very rare opportunity for the people of Southern Sudan, in particular, to come to this office and to voice our -- their concerns about whatever is happening in our country.
It is true we have been working together during the negotiations with the people of the United States and the government of the United States of America to bring peace to Sudan. And that peace has taken a toll of our people. This dream has been achieved, and we are now together in the implementation.
There are so many other crises in Sudan, that is the problem of Darfur that people have been talking about. And we are sure that we are going to solve the problem so that we don't hear about rapes and killings in Darfur. And all other parts of our country, like the Eastern Sudan, we are now also negotiating in that province so that peace is also achieved all over the Sudan.
So we thank the President for all the efforts that he has been exerting and the concerns that he has about the people of Sudan.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, sir; appreciate you.
END 12:18 P.M. EDT