|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 21, 2003
2:22 P.M. (Local)
PRESIDENT BUSH: It was a sad day yesterday, but it's a day that reminds us all that we've got a job to do, that is to defeat terror.
Q What did you tell Erdogan, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: What?
Q What did you tell the Turkish leader?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I told him our prayers are with his people. I told him that we will work with him to defeat terror, and that the terrorists have decided to use Turkey as a front.
Q -- specific aid, like sending FBI agents or investigators?
PRESIDENT BUSH: You'll see as time goes on. Both countries want to help. Obviously, we need to share intelligence. The best way to defeat al Qaeda-type killers is to share intelligence and then work with local authorities to hunt these killers down.
Great Britain has got a fantastic intelligence service, and we've got a good one, as well. And we want to work with countries like Turkey to anticipate and to find killers.
Q Is Turkey a new front in this war on terror?
PRESIDENT BUSH: It sure is. Two major explosions. And Iraq is a front, Turkey is a front, anywhere where the terrorists think they can strike is a front.
Q -- Turkish officials wanted to go and strike al Qaeda in perhaps another country or another site?
PRESIDENT BUSH: We'll work with any country willing to fight off terror. Just like Great Britain. This country is fortunate to have a Prime Minister who is clear-sighted about the threats of the 21st century. And America is lucky to have a friend as strong as Tony Blair.
Q Do you like having all these press around you?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Do I like having all the press around me? Let me see here. (Laughter.) Now, who has the final -- let me ask, who has the final word, I wonder, me or the press? I love the press around me. Just take a look at this lot. Take, for example, Scott. He thinks he's a fine runner -- until he came out to the ranch -- never mind. (Laughter.)
PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: I'll tell you the truth a bit later, okay? (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we like the press. A vibrant society is a society with a free press.
Thank you all.
END 2:26 P.M. (Local)