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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Bush, Schroeder Press Conference

Aired September 24, 2003 - 09:54   ET

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

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: As promised waiting for this videotape to come in to us here in New York City. That meeting between German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and President Bush has wrapped up now. Early indications we're getting from this tape is that the two have agreed to work together regarding Iraq. What that entails, not quite clear just yet. But apparently word here in New York over the past two days has been that the Germans may be willing to help train the Iraqi police force. A similar message and theme that we had heard from the French prior to the General Assembly meeting at the U.N. in New York. Here's the president on the videotape.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you all for coming.

Gerhard and I just had a very good meeting. First thing I told him, I said, "Look, we've had differences and they're over, and we're going to work together."

And I believe when Germany and America works together we can accomplish a lot of positive things. We're both committed to freedom. We're both committed to peace. We're both committed to prosperity of our people. And I reaffirmed to Gerhard that American and German relations are very important to this administration. I have said so repeatedly, I said so in the Bundestag and I reiterated it today to the chancellor.

We will work together on Afghanistan. I appreciate his efforts to help with a -- help Iraq grow to be a peaceful and stable and democratic country. We talked about the Middle East. We talked about proliferation concerns. In short, we talked about the things we can do together to benefit mankind. And I'm really happy we had the meeting today.

Thank you, sir.

GERHARD SCHROEDER, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I can only comment and very much confirm what the president just said. We addressed a whole range of international topics, but we didn't just exclusively talk about international affairs. We also addressed the economic situation, because we feel that our problems when it comes to that are similar indeed. Both of our economies are by now so closely intertwined that it really makes sense to think about them conjointly.

I cannot conceal that I was very pleased indeed that the president did appreciate the contribution Germany is making within Afghanistan. We very much are trying to make a sustainable contribution, and I think our people on the ground are doing a good job. And therefore I have to say I'm proud of the work they're doing for us and for us together.

We then proceeded to actually talk about the situation in Iraq and indeed we very much feel that the differences there have been have been left behind and put aside by now. We have both agreed that we want to look into the future together.

SCHROEDER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): And I would like to reiterate the fact that Germany has a very strong -- in fact, a vested interest in a stable and very democratic Iraq and to development to that effect. It is very important not just for Iraq itself, but for the whole of the region, for Germany and therefore also for Europe.

We certainly have emphasized the fact, and I have once more said this to the president myself, how very much we would like to come in and help with the resources that we do have.

We could very much envisage that we will assist in providing training for the security staff, be it police functions or be it some form of military function. We do have the capacities for that available in Germany and we would very much like to put them to that purpose.

BUSH: Thank you, sir. Appreciate you being here.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HEMMER: Gerhard Schroeder, President Bush, their first meeting in almost a year and a half now, saying their differences are over, direct words from the president a few moments ago here on New York City. Much more on this as we go throughout the morning and the day here on CNN.

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