WASHINGTON, March 15 LAWFUEL – Iraq News, Legal News — T…

WASHINGTON, March 15 LAWFUEL – Iraq News, Legal News — The following is a transcript of remarks by President Bush and Vice President Adil Abd Al-Mahdi of Iraq in a photo opportunity:
The Oval Office

10:55 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: It is such an honor to welcome the Vice President of a
free Iraq to the Oval Office.

Mr. Vice President, I appreciate your courage. I don’t know if the
citizens of my country know, but the other day, a killer tried to take your life. And fortunately, you sit here, and you speak with enthusiasm and optimism about the future of your country.

One of the reasons why — the main reason why I’ve reinforced our
troops in Iraqis to give leaders such as yourself the opportunity to do the hard work of reconciliation. I appreciate very much the progress that
you’re making. I know it’s hard work. It’s hard work to overcome distrust
that has built up over the years because your country was ruled by a tyrant that created distrust amongst people.

But you, Mr. Vice President, are showing strong vision, and a vision of peace and reconciliation. And I welcome you to the Oval Office. I thank you for your courage, and I thank you for the conversation we’ve had.

VICE PRESIDENT ABD AL-MAHDI: Thank you. Thank you, President. Thank you for receiving me, and the present occasion to thank you personally, and to thank the American people for all the support you’ve given to Iraq, the
sacrifices. Also, I visited yesterday some soldiers in the hospital, and I saw their high spirit they had, really, better morale than I had, talking
about their mission.

We are working hard together. Our security plan is marking some points.

We are not finished, but we are doing better than expected in this plan.
This will not solve the whole problem; the reconciliation process will take our political agenda forward. We are working on many issues; the
hydrocarbon bill, which we approved in the Cabinet. We are working on a
deBaathification bill and it will be presented later. We are working on so many things.

So, really, I want to take this occasion to thank all Americans — the United States, you, Mr. President, the Congress, the administration — for all the sacrifices, effort, assistance given to help my country.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, sir. Thank you.

10:58 A.M. EDT

SOURCE White House Press Office

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