For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 23, 2005
REMARKS OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND GERMAN CHANCELLOR SCHRDER IN AN EXCHANGE
Grosser Saal Lobby Electoral Palace Mainz, Germany
11:58 A.M. (Local)
CHANCELLOR SCHRDER: (As translated.) Dear Mr. President, Mrs.
Bush, ladies and gentlemen: Let me begin by sharing with you how very
pleased, indeed, my wife, Doris, and I are about this opportunity of
welcoming you, Mr. President, and your wife, Laura, not only to
Germany, but here to Mainz, as well. Your visit is a strong sign of
the true friendship -- and I emphasize friendship -- and trusting
cooperation that has developed between Germany and the United States of
I still remember the days in May, '89, when your father, Mr.
President, came here, and only a few months before the fall of what was
then the Berlin Wall, he committed himself very strongly to the idea of
a united Europe as a strong partner by the side of the United States of
Now here we stand today, 15 years later, and that target, I can
only say, is downright achieved. Germany has gone in and reestablished
the unity of its own state, and it has done so in freedom. This, all
of this, would not have been possible without the United States of
America, Mr. President. Here we stand, today, as equal partners, equal
friends and real allies, where we get together for proper cooperation
to muster the challenges we're all faced with today.
Our cooperation, be it in the fight against international
terrorism, be it against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
be it the fight against underdevelopment or epidemics, such as HIV and
AIDS, in all of those fields we stand united, and we're really fighting
together; also in the field of creating a good climate for this one
world we're all living in.
We jointly show military commitment, in the Balkans, for example,
in Afghanistan. We show international cooperation when it is about
dealing with crisis such as the one in the Middle East, for example.
And all of this is done by the now reunited, sovereign Germany, which
stands ready to take on all these international and grown
Not only Germany is taking on greater responsibility, ladies and
gentlemen, also the enlarged European Union shows a lot more
responsibility for international peace, for development and for the
stability around the world. And we are certainly ready to take action
in the field of foreign and security policy. We are trying to develop
a joint foreign and security policy in Europe that very much serves
this aforementioned purpose.
You, Mr. President, made the effort to visit the European Union and
NATO yesterday. You delivered speeches there, and by saying what you
said, you set a sign that the alliance and the partnership really rests
on two strong pillars here.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, the unique ties that tie our two
countries together especially rest upon things such as the civil
societies on both sides of the Atlantic. We are tied together through
strong economic exchange and through a lot of cultural ties, too. Now,
it is apart from the political and cultural ties that there is also a
real atmosphere, a spirit of a transatlantic relationship that reigns.
Now, that takes me to the end of my beginning words here to you.
If I had a glass, which, unfortunately, I don't, I would raise it, and
propose a toast to German-U.S. friendship and cooperation. Now, since
I don't have that glass, it's a bit embarrassing, but it says it in my
text, I need to say it anyway. And just, by the way, if the glass -- I
just said, if I had a glass -- I would always say the glass were full.
I always wanted to be a chef, and never wanted to be a waiter.
(Laughter.) Thank you. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: Gerhard, before I raise my imaginary glass --
(laughter) -- I do want to thank you for your hospitality. You and
Doris have been very kind to Laura and me, and we appreciate that. I
want to thank all the folks who have come to say, hello, from around
this great country. It means a lot to both of us that you're here.
You know, in the course of my political career, I've often been
accused of following in my father's footsteps. I don't know why people
say that. (Laughter.) I'm proud to be here, 16 years after he was
here. I hope he brought my mother -- because, like me, we both married
above ourselves. (Laughter.) I'm proud to be traveling with Laura.
The first trip I took since my second inauguration was to Europe,
because Europe is a vital relationship for the United States of
America. It is in my nation's interest that Europe be strong. We want
a strong partner for peace and freedom. We can't have good, strong
relations with Europe if we don't have good relations with Germany.
This great nation is the heart of Europe.
My trip today should say to the people of this good country and my
country that past disagreements are behind us, and we're moving forward
for the good of mankind. And that shouldn't be a surprise to people,
because we believe in human rights and human dignity and the worth of
And so today I come to Germany to raise my imaginary glass to our
friendship, our relationship, our ability to work together, and for
freedom and peace. May God bless you all. (Applause.)
END 12:09 P.M. (Local)