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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 15, 2006

President Bush Meets with Prime Minister Prodi of Italy
Cottage Nine
Konstantinovsky Palace Complex
Strelna, Russia

      G-8 Summit 2006

6:44 P.M. (Local)

PRESIDENT BUSH: I've enjoyed my visit with the Prime Minister, Romano. I've known him for a long time. This isn't the first time we have had discussions, and so therefore, the discussions today were very cordial. They reflect the important relationship that the United States shares with Italy.

Before I say anything beyond this, I do want to congratulate your great country for winning the World Cup.

PRIME MINISTER PRODI: I am happy to --

PRESIDENT BUSH: I bet you are happy for it. And we were very excited for the Italian people as they celebrated the magnificent victory.

Romano and I talked about a lot of issues that face the world. No question, when Italy and the United States works together, along with other countries, we're able to achieve important breakthroughs. We talked about Iran, we talked about the Middle East, we talked about a variety of issues. We talked about energy. We spent a lot of time talking about energy.

I want to thank you for your time, thank you for your frank discussions. It's good to see you again.

PRIME MINISTER PRODI: I hope that we can meet sometime again.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, sir, thank you.

PRIME MINISTER PRODI: I confirm what George told -- we had a very frank conversation concerning all that --(inaudible) -- issues. But now (inaudible) first of all, Middle East, of course, then Iran, and Iraq, and Afghanistan. Then we spent a lot of time on the future. I think we (inaudible) -- for Africa (inaudible). There's certainly a vision between U.S. and Italy -- (inaudible) -- and our friendship is stronger, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, sir. Thank you, Romano.

END 6:46 P.M. (Local)

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