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IraqSide:Developments
Transcript
Bush Meets Iraqi Leaders at Egypt Forum
Touts Success in Iraq, Acknowledges "Problems," Says More Work to be Done
05/18/2008 6:57 PM ET
US President George W. Bush speaks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh during a meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Sharm el-Sheikh on May 18, 2008.
Photo by Jim Watson/AFP-Getty Images
US President George W. Bush speaks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh during a meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Sharm el-Sheikh on May 18, 2008.

Here's a transcript of their comments after their meeting:
PRESIDENT BUSH: I just had a discussion with the Vice President, the Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, of the sovereign nation of Iraq. And I told them that I'm impressed by the progress that's taking place, the security progress. We talked about Basra and the success of the Iraqi government in Basra in dealing with Shia extremists.

President George W. Bush stands with Iraqi leaders after their meeting Sunday, May 18, 2008, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. With him from left are: Hoshyar Zeban, Foreign Minister, Vice President Abd al-Mahdi, and Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih. White House photo by Chris Greenberg We talked about the economic progress that is being made. We also talked about the fact that more work needs to be done; that this is -- you know, there are still problems. But the good news is, is that these three leaders recognize the problems, and they have got solutions to deal with the problems.

And finally we talked about the need for the people in the Middle East to understand the importance of a successful Iraq. And these three men are courageous men; they're smart, capable people who are -- who represent the Iraqi people with a lot of dignity.

And I welcome you here, Mr. Vice President. Thank you for coming.

VICE PRESIDENT ABD AL-MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President. We had a very good meeting with President Bush, who always supported Iraq. And we assessed the progress that we did on all levels -- security, politics, even economical progress. It's a regular relationship and the international community (inaudible) progress has been marked all of the -- on those levels.

We also assessed the future, what we should do in the future -- economical relationship and other issues of economic kind and also the region issue.

So we are working together, really, Iraq and the United States. And we were always optimistic even in the worst days, and we now, today, we realize how -- the importance of our work, of the cooperation between the United States and Iraq, and see it continue; continue that.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, all.

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