For Immediate Release
April 8, 2008
President Bush Meets with Afghanistan Provincial Governors
In Focus: Afghanistan
4:18 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: I just had a fascinating opportunity to discuss Afghanistan with eight governors. I started off the meeting by telling them I was a governor once. And I -- and they were then telling me their stories, their concerns. First of all, they universally thanked the American people for standing with them as this new democracy takes hold.
Secondly, there's concerns about unemployment, about economic development. Some provinces are quiet, and the governor wondered whether or not, because it's quiet, people remember the people in the province exist. Other provinces have got some difficult security problems.
They shared with me very candidly their concerns about different types of operations; their desire to see to it that the police get better training and better equipment.
And I shared with them our desire to help them succeed, because one of the things that really matters in democracy is that local governance is strong and good and honest, that the people are being able to see the benefits of democracy. And it's hard work in Afghanistan, but I told these leaders that I think it's necessary work.
And I want to thank them for coming to America. They've got a very busy schedule. They've been to several states. And I think it's going to be very important for our fellow citizens to meet these good men, and to understand the problems they face, and their desire to have their families live in peace, and young girls go to school, and be people treated with dignity.
So I want to thank you all for coming. Thank you for the wonderful gift, and I'm proud you're here.
I'm now going to show them the Oval Office -- a shrine to democracy. Thank you.
END 4:20 P.M. EDT