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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

President Bush Makes Remarks Before He Leaves to Germany

Aired May 22, 2002 - 06:05   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go live to Washington, D.C. right now. The president is preparing to go to Germany. He is going to make a few remarks before he boards his helicopter on his way to Andrews Air Force Base to board his aircraft that will take him to Germany.

So let's listen to what reporters have to say to him, and how he answers their questions.

(IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... my trip to Europe.

I am going to take a couple of messages. One, of course, I appreciate the friendship with the European people, our strong alliance, and that our lives must remain tough in the war against global terror. That even though we have had some initial successes, there is still danger for countries which embrace freedom, countries such as ours or Germany, France, Russia or Italy. And as an alliance, we must continue to fight against global terror. We've got to be tough.

Secondly, friends benefit through free trade. I will reaffirm our commitment to trade. I hope the United States Senate finishes debate on the Trade Promotion Authority and passes the bill. It's going to be important for our friends around the world to see this commitment to trade. Trade is in the interest of our workers. Trade is in the interest of our job creation, and trade is the interest of developing nations, as well as developed nations.

And so, I want to thank those in the United States Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, who have worked hard on this bill. I hope they finish the debate and pass this important legislation. It will be a strong, positive message. I am looking forward to the trip. I am honored to represent the greatest nation on the face of the earth in capitals around Europe, and I look forward to reporting back to the American people upon my return. Thank you very much.

COSTELLO: OK. You can see the president wrapping up his remarks. He is going to board a helicopter, which will take him to Andrews Air Force Base, and then it's on to Germany after he boards Air Force One.

That is where our Kathleen Koch is standing by right now at Andrews Air Force Base. Kathleen, are you there?

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Carol, actually I am here at the White House.

COSTELLO: Good morning.

KOCH: Good morning. Well, the president is right now, as you heard, heading off for a very busy week-long trip to Europe. He's going to be basically visiting four countries. You heard him mention a couple there.

The president first heads to West Germany. He will be meeting this evening with the chancellor, Helmut Kohl, there. Before -- I think it's -- excuse me -- Helmut Schroeder (sic), before addressing the German's Bundestag that's going to happen tomorrow.

And then finally, the president heads for Moscow, where you will see basically the centerpiece of this major trip. He will be meeting with the Russian leader, Mr. Putin, and they will be signing an agreement, a strategic nuclear arms reduction agreement that will cut both countries' supplies of deployed strategic nuclear warheads by about two-thirds over the next ten years, from a level from of about 5,000 to 6,000 that they both currently have down to between 1,700 and 2,200.

After that, Mr. Bush then heads to France, where he will be congratulating the newly-elected president there, Jacques Chirac. And the president will be honoring the debt paid (ph), basically the deaths of many U.S. service people by going to the beaches of Normandy for Memorial Day.

And then last of fall, the president will be heading to Italy for a NATO meeting before heading back to Washington later on in the week on Tuesday -- back to you, Carol.

COSTELLO: Kathleen, I'm just watching on another feed Marine One carrying the president to Andrews Air Force Base. You know, when he arrives in Germany later today, he is going to be greeted by protestors. There were already protests in Germany protesting the U.S. war on terrorism. What might the president say to them?

KOCH: Well, as you heard the president saying in his departure statement that he is going to emphasize that despite the fact that we may have disagreements with some of our allies, that we are still allies, that we are still friends, that we all still have the same goals in mind.

And again, these protestors are concerned about a number of issues, some of them protesting the U.S. campaign against terrorism, the discussion of some sort of possible U.S. action in Iraq, and there is also a lot of concern about the fact that the U.S. pulled out of the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty. But President Bush does plan to address all those issues head-on when he gets to Germany.

COSTELLO: Will he meet up with his wife at some point? KOCH: Yes, he is going to be hooking up with her, I believe that is later on today. Now, she has been in Europe for roughly about a week. So they will be joining together. And then besides obviously all of the important diplomatic meetings, the meetings with top European leaders that the president will be attending, he and the first lady will be doing a bit of sightseeing at the various spots that they visit in Europe.

COSTELLO: All right. Kathleen Koch reporting live from the White House this morning -- we appreciate it.

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