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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 21, 2008

President Bush and President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia Exchange Toasts
Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia

  Presidential Remarks

      Africa Trip 2008

12:54 P.M. (Local)

PRESIDENT JOHNSON SIRLEAF: President Bush, Mrs. Bush, members of the United States delegation, Mr. Vice President, officials of government, honorable members of the national legislature, fellow Liberians, friends of Liberia, please let me ask you to rise and raise your glasses, join me in drinking lustily -- (laughter) -- to the health, prosperity of the President, government, and people of the United States, and to the great friendship that Liberia enjoys with our number one partner. (Applause.)

(A toast is offered.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Madam President, I want to make sure I've got the following correctly: Here, they call you the "Iron Lady." (Applause.) And here they call you "Ma." (Applause.) And I call you friend. (Applause.)

We are honored to be here. Laura and I are thrilled to be here with our delegation to end what has been a very productive trip to the continent of Africa. I can't think of a better place to finish than in -- with our dear friend, Liberia. (Applause.)

It is easy to destroy a country; it is hard to rebuild a country. And I, Madam President, I want you to know that the United States of America supports you as you rebuild your country. (Applause.) We share a special history with Liberia. It's a history that is deep, and I want the people of your beautiful country to know that our help is just beginning. (Applause.)

And so, Madam President, I propose a toast to you, and the strength of your leadership, and the quality of your character, and to the good people of Liberia. May God bless. (Applause.)

(A toast is offered.)

END 12:57 P.M. (Local)

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