The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 8, 2007

President Bush Welcomes European Commission President José Barroso to the White House
Oval Office

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President's Remarks
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12:09 P.M. EST

PRESIDENT BUSH: I'm very pleased to welcome back my friend, José Barroso; thank you. We just had a great discussion about the importance between -- of relations between the United States and the European Union. José has got a really important job and I think he's doing it really well.

President George W. Bush welcomes European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to the Oval Office, Monday, January 8, 2007.  White House photo by Eric Draper Our discussion was frank, it was open. We talked about the importance of the transatlantic relationship and how we can work to improve it. We talked about the importance for Europe and the United States to resolve any differences we have when it comes to the Doha round for trade, so that we can promote international trade. We both recognize that the best way to help impoverished nations is to complete this Doha round and to encourage the spread of wealth and opportunity through open and reasonable and fair trade.

José and I talked about the Middle East. There's no question that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is on a lot of people's minds. We are dedicated to a two-state solution, two democracies living side-by-side in peace. And we talked about ways that we need to work together to see if we can't bring that vision to fruition.

We're going to talk about Darfur here at lunch. I know that José is as committed as I am to helping solve what I've called a genocide. It is outrageous that people are being treated the way they are, and I'm confident Europe and the United States can work with other friends and allies around the world to help solve that difficult problem.

We talked about Iran. We talked about Syria. We talked about Iraq. We talked about a lot of issues. We also talked about the importance of energy independence and, at the same time, being wise stewards of the environment. We are very hopeful that the use of technologies and good policy will help us diversify our energy supplies and be able to assure future generations that the environment of the world will be better off.

And so I thought it was a constructive dialogue. Glad to have you back.

PRESIDENT BARROSO: Thank you very much, George. It was, indeed, a pleasure to meet again, President Bush. We have now these very regular meetings. And it's always a great occasion to exchange views on such important subjects.

In fact, we have considered bilateral and global issues. On bilateral, I underlined the importance we give to further -- to make go further, go faster, to go deeper in our economic transatlantic partnership. This is the most important economic relation in the world, the relation between the United States of America and the European Union. And we believe we can achieve more if we look at it in a comprehensive manner. And I hope that now there will be some concrete work so that in our regular institutional summit between the European Union and the United States we can achieve some more complete results.

Of course, the most crucial factor is the successful negotiations for Doha. Doha is not just about trade, it's also about development, it's about having a multilateral approach to trade. There is now the defining moment. We are really at defining moment, and we had a very good exchange, and we gave instructions to all negotiators to come with a solution as soon as possible. And of course it is important to engage also others, because this is a real global agreement that we are trying to build. And this will be a very important signal for the world community if we show that it is possible to have a global approach to trade and development.

President George W. Bush and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso meet members of the media in the Oval Office, Monday, January 8, 2007.  White House photo by Eric Draper Another global issue, but where United States and Europe have a very good -- and we hope to improve relation and dialogue -- is precisely energy and climate. When we speak about climate change, it's not just about the environment -- of course environment is crucially important -- but it is also about global security, it's also about economic development and sustainability.

And so we are hoping to deepen our dialogue on climate change, on technologies, on curbing emissions, on progress, in terms of energy efficiency, and in security. Of course the key is diversification -- diversification in all aspects, and we believe the work going on between our respective experts is a good signal of the commitment of our joint commitment to fight climate change and also to have a more common approach to the problems of global security regarding energy.

We will, of course, consider other issues in the working lunch we're going to have. President Bush just spoke about Darfur. I've been in Darfur recently. I can tell you that it's really a tragedy, what's going on, and we cannot accept that tragedy going on without the united response of the international community.

So, once again, it was a pleasure meeting President Bush in the White House. I'm very much looking forward to other occasions where we can show to the world that this relation, the relation between Europe and the United States of America is, indeed, more important than ever.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thanks, José. Thank you.

END 12:15 P.M. EST

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