The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
June 29, 2007

Statement by Mrs. Bush After Courtesy Call with President and Mrs. Touré of Mali
Bamako, Mali

12:50 P.M. (Local)

MRS. BUSH:  Well, I would like to thank President Touré and Mrs. Touré for hosting me on this visit.  I want to commend the President for his leadership of Mali.

As a former teacher and librarian, I especially appreciate President and Mrs. Touré's commitment to the education of all the citizens of Mali.  And I'm proud that the United States can stand with Mali as we work to make sure citizens are educated through our Africa Education Initiative that President Bush started in a way to make sure girls are educated and that textbooks and teacher training take place in countries that need textbooks and teachers.

Last fall at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, I hosted a White House Conference on Global Literacy.  And this fall, Mrs. Touré will host an all-Africa regional summit on Literacy.  Both of these conferences are in conjunction with UNESCO and their goal of Literacy for All.

This afternoon we'll visit a school and we'll see some teacher training done via radio -- teacher training via radio, that's supported by the American people through the African Education Initiative.

And then we'll be briefed on the Millennium Challenge Compact that Mali -- between Mali and the United States, and on the infrastructure building that will be a part of that Millennium Challenge Compact.

And, finally, I'm glad that the President's Malaria Initiative will now be active in Mali.  I think it's very, very important for all of us to work together, people around the world, to do what we can to eradicate the suffering that's caused by malaria.  Our country's -- my country's development initiatives are working here in Mali because of the strength of the Malian government.  And so I want to thank President and Mrs. Touré for having me here in Mali, hosting me.  And I also want to thank them for the strong friendship between the United States and Mali.

End 12:55 P.M. (Local)

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