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

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
June 9, 2008

Mrs. Bush and President Karzai of Afghanistan Participate in Joint Press Availability
Kabul Presidential Palace
Kabul, Afghanistan

photos  Photos

June 8, 2008

4:10 P.M. (Local)

Q (As translated.) Your question is addressed the honorable Laura Bush. And the question is: Why did you choose Bamiyan to visit?

MRS. BUSH: Well, for several reasons. One, because, of course, I wanted to go see Governor Sarabi, who I've met before on several occasions when she was the Minister of Women's. And then it was just a part of Afghanistan I hadn't seen, and so I wanted to go see it. And of course, the security there is a lot better, which was better for me, because I didn't have to take as much of a security entourage as I might have at some other place.

Mrs. Laura Bush shakes hands with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Sunday, June 8, 2008, during their press availability at the presidential palace in Kabul.  White House photo by Shealah Craighead Q Mr. President, thank you -- New York Times. At Paris, you are going to get a lot of critical review from the Europeans, particularly the donors, for corruption in your government. What can you answer to them that you will do more?

And Mrs. Bush, if you have time, could you also -- are you raising the question of corruption in the Afghan government today?

MRS. BUSH: Am I -- what did you say at the end of your question?

Q Question of corruption in the Afghan government.

MRS. BUSH: Raising --

Q Are you discussing it today?

MRS. BUSH: No, that isn't something that we've been discussing today. We've been discussing a lot of other issues that have to do both with our partnership between the United States government and Afghanistan, as far as education is concerned and all of the other great projects that I visited today, a lot of agriculture, a lot of other things.

I thought -- I think your question was interesting, because you said he would be getting a lot of criticism from the journalists.

Q Donors, donors.

MRS. BUSH: Donors? You think the European donors are going to be criticizing, or you think it will just be the journalists? (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Well, ma'am, we are going to the Paris conference with a very realistic evaluation of the past six years of our achievements, of our progress, of our problems, and with our objectives for the future, and the wish list for the future, which the international community will surely continue to assist Afghanistan.

I'll be there to thank the international community for the help given to Afghanistan. I'll be there to thank personally the First Lady Laura Bush for visiting Afghanistan, for being with us, and for showing so much concern and assistance to Afghanistan. We will come back with some significant assistance from the international community to the Afghan people.

The issue of corruption in the Afghan administration, the issue of corruption with regard to other forms of administrative issues, the delivery of aid and all that, is something that we constantly discuss with each other. But Paris will be one of a true evaluation, in a very friendly manner, and of contributions on both sides. Thank you.

END 4:14 P.M. (Local)

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