Op with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
The Rose Garden
The White House
January 31, 2002
6:10 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we've had a substantial discussion with my friend, the
Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder. I appreciate him coming over to say
hello again. We spent a great deal of time talking about our mutual desire to
rid the war of terror. And I'm so pleased with Germany's cooperation. They've
provided troops in Afghanistan, troops that have performed really well, according
to our military, and I want to congratulate you for that.
I also thanked the Chancellor for hosting the Bonn convention, and who's made
a substantial stride toward an Afghanistan that will be able to survive after
we have ridded it of the Taliban. I appreciate so very much the Chancellor's
willingness to help Afghanistan help herself, in terms of training a police
force. I told him we're in the process of setting up a plan to help Afghanistan
develop her own military. So we're linked up well in our mutual desires to leave
the world more peaceful.
So, Mr. Chancellor, I'm so honored you're here. I want to welcome you.
THE CHANCELLOR: Well, ladies and gentlemen, I can only absolutely confirm what
his Excellency, the President, has just said regarding our discussions, particularly
focusing, obviously, on the fight against terrorism; but also about the fight
that has happened in Afghanistan and that the support that has been rendered
by us, too.
We, as you all know, are very committed to the participation in the peace corps
in Afghanistan, under the umbrella of the United Nations. Obviously, and as
the President has just pointed out, we are very interested in committing ourselves
to training police forces, law enforcement forces within Afghanistan, because
we find it crucially important that such intra-Afghanistan proper homegrown
police forces can be built up in the process. And in the more long-term, obviously,
a military structure will be needed here, too.
I, obviously, wouldn't like to forget the fact that I have congratulated the
President on the economic performance that the country has obviously been able
to show. We do see some positive signs here; things are being fueled again,
which obviously is not just positive and good for the U.S. American economy,
but also for the global economy, too.
I'm very pleased, indeed, that obviously there are now some hopeful signs here
because, obviously, as soon as the economy runs smoothly again here that is
going to be good for the global economy and, therefore, good for Europe and
certainly for Germany, too.