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Remarks by President Bush and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in Photo Opportunity

Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2580


WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 /Standard Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in a photo opportunity:


The Oval Office

2:00 P.M. EST


PRESIDENT BUSH:  Mr. Secretary General, welcome.  The last time I visited with you in this Oval Office, you were the Foreign Minister of an important country.  Now you come representing the United Nations, and I welcome you.  Thank you for your willingness to serve.  Thank you for this very important discussion we just had.  I appreciate so very much how you opened up the discussion with a strong commitment to democracy and freedom.  And the United States is willing -- wants to work with the United Nations to achieve a peace through the spread of freedom.


And I want to thank you very much for the wise advice that you have given on a variety of issues.  We talked about the Middle East, of course, and the importance of the Quartet.  We talked about Darfur.  Mr. Secretary General, I want to thank you for your commitment to help the suffering people in Darfur, and I wish you all the best as you work hard to convince the President of the Sudan that it's in his interest, and in the world's interest, that we allow enhanced African Union peacekeepers in to provide peace and security for people who are suffering.


I want to thank you very much, as well, for our discussions about Iran and North Korea.  I wish you all the best in this important job.  I admired the way you handled your previous job, and I'm confident you'll do a fine job now. 


SECRETARY GENERAL KI-MOON:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.  It's a great honor and privilege for me to visit the White House and meet with you, Mr. President, in my new capacity as Secretary General of the United Nations.  I feel it a great honor for me to serve this United Nations, our global body, United Nations.  At the same time, I'm very much humbled by all the challenges which I have to deal with and we are facing in the 21st century.


I would need strong participation and support of the United States in all activities of the United Nations.  In fact, I believe that the United Nations and United States have shared objectives -- peace and security, freedom, democracy.  All these important goals and ideas are what the United States is also trying to achieve.


I hope to work very closely with the U.S. government, including Mr. President, in realizing and obtaining this shared goal.  As I start my new administration as Secretary General, I get to have strong commitment and support from U.S. government, and I'm committed to devote all my time and energy to the address -- to address all these important issues -- Middle East, and Darfur, Lebanon, and Somalia, North Korea, Millennium Development Goals and climate changes.  All are global issues, which require global, collective wisdom and effort.


Thank you very much for this opportunity.




    END 2:03 P.M. EST