Op with Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao
The Oval Office
September 10, 2002
10:57 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: It's my honor to welcome Prime Minister Durao of Portugal to
the Oval Office. He's one of the bright young leaders on the international stage.
And it's a conversation I've been looking forward to having with Jose.
He comes at a very interesting time. It's a time where the world is discussing
the present and the future. Today -- tomorrow we'll be reliving a horrible reminder
of what is possible in the 21st century -- that is, no country is immune from
We will discuss today our mutual desire to fight terror. And I appreciate the
government of Portugal for its strong support in the war against terror. We
will also discuss future threats that we face, all of us face -- the dire possibilities
that outlaw regimes will develop weapons of mass destruction and use them with
terrorist organizations, or use them on their own, against countries which love
freedom, countries such as Portugal.
We will discuss our relationship in NATO, and of course we've got a very important
conference coming in NATO about the expansion. I look forward to hearing the
Prime Minister's views on that important issue.
So you're here at a perfect time --
PRIME MINISTER DURAO: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: -- to discuss important issues. I value his judgment, I look
forward to his advice.
Mr. Prime Minister, if you'd like to say a few things.
PRIME MINISTER DURAO: Okay, thank you very much. Let me first of all thank very
much Mr. Bush, President Bush, for receiving me here today. I think it is very
important the United States of America and President Bush listens to the opinion
of close allies, and Portugal is a very close ally of the United States.
I think that it was Winston Churchill that said once that: The problem with
allies is that sometimes they have opinions. (Laughter.) And I come here to
listen to President Bush, but also --
THE PRESIDENT: I'm going to listen. (Laughter.)
PRIME MINISTER DURAO: -- to give you my opinion, very frankly. The opinion of
a friend, the opinion of a close ally of the United States, a country that shares
the same basic values.
And I think at this very moment, where there are some global threats that have
to have a global answer, we should act globally. And that's one of the messages
I will convey to President Bush, a personality I admire very much for everything
he represents, for the free world, the way he has led this global coalition
And I'm very proud to be today here with you, to convey to you the deep respect
of the Portuguese people -- indeed, I would say, of Europe -- in all our common
endeavors against global terrorism.