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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 14, 2008

President Bush Meets with Iraq President Talabani in Iraq
Salam Palace
Baghdad, Iraq

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     Fact sheet In Focus: Iraq

6:01 P.M. (Local)

PRESIDENT TALABANI: Today we have the pleasure and honor of seeing our great friend for the Iraqi people, President George W. Bush, who helped us to liberate our country and to reach this day, which we have democracy, human rights, and prosperity gradually in our country. Thanks to him and his courageous leadership that we are here now in this building.

President George W. Bush poses for photos with Iraq's President Jalal Talabani, left, and Iraq Vice Presidents Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Tariq al-Hashimi, right, during their meeting Sunday, Dec. 14. 2008, at the Salam Palace in Baghdad.  White House photo by Eric Draper So we are very glad to have him with us and we discussed with him all our problems very frankly and friendly, and we hope that will continue friendship with him, even he'll be back in Texas.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you and the Vice Presidents for greeting me. I've known these men for a long time, and I have come to admire them for their courage and for their determination to succeed. I am also here to herald the passage of the SFA/SOFA as a reminder of our friendship and as a way forward to help the Iraqi people realize the blessings of a free society.

And the work hasn't been easy, but it has been necessary for American security, Iraqi hope, and world peace. So Mr. President, thank you for your friendship and thank you for your hospitality. I'm looking forward to meeting all folks who are involved in the process, leading this political process. And I am just so grateful that I had a chance to come back to Iraq before my presidency ended.

PRESIDENT TALABANI: They want picture with you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Oh, absolutely.

END 6:03 P.M. (Local)

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