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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 16, 2005

President Meets with Ambassador to the United Nations from Iraq
The Oval Office

President's Remarks

      In Focus: Renewal in Iraq

1:40 P.M. EST

PRESIDENT BUSH: It's my honor to welcome the Ambassador to the United Nations from Iraq. This good man has been a -- is an Iraqi patriot. He was there in Iraq right after liberation; he helped write the TAL, which is the go-by for the new constitution. He's serving his country in New York now. He was a voter yesterday in the elections.

The reason he came by to say hello is we want to talk about what a glorious day it was yesterday for the Iraqi citizens, and what we're going to do to work together to make sure that we complete our mission, and that is to have an Iraq that can defend itself and sustain itself, an Iraq that will help us defeat the terrorists in this war on terror, an Iraq that will serve as such a powerful example for other countries in the region that share the same desires as the Iraqi citizen -- that is the desire to live in a free world and a free society.

I'm so pleased to hear the stories from his Al Anbar Province, where his grandfather was -- lived. And he was telling me about the stories from the village where he was from, about how there's no phone service because the terrorists blew up the capacity for people to make phone calls, but they forgot to shut off the Internet, and people were then describing for this good man what it was like to participate in the democratic process.

It was a remarkable day yesterday in the history of mankind and in the history of freedom.

And so, Mr. Ambassador, I'm glad you're here. Thank you so much for serving with such dignity. Welcome. It's been great talking to you.

AMBASSADOR SUMAIDAIE: Thank you, Mr. President. I believe that yesterday was a great day for Iraq, it was a great day for freedom. I think it was the turning point and the beginning of the end of terrorism in Iraq.

Iraqis have written, with their blood, a chapter of their history which will be remembered for decades, with the help of the American troops, with your help, Mr. President, and the help of the American people, which we will remember and appreciate for generations.

Thank you very much, Mr. President. And I believe that we should keep our eye on the ball and make sure that the mission is accomplished and we build an Iraq which is stable, at peace with itself and with its neighbor, and forever, I hope, a reliable ally of the United States.


END 1:44 P.M. EST

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