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Remarks by President Bush and President Ilves of Estonia in an Exchange of Toasts

Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-546-0054


TALLINN, Estonia, Nov. 28 /Standard Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush and President Ilves of Estonia in an exchange of toasts:


Estonian Theater

Tallinn, Estonia


11:42 A.M. (Local)


PRESIDENT ILVES:  (As translated.)  The support of the United States for existence of the country of Estonia, through the seemingly endless years, when we thought we, indeed, had been forgotten by everyone, gives us the conviction to support the restoration or establishment of democracy in those parts of the world where it, too, seems but a dream.


Our own past spurs us now to act as a country that is able to and wants to help others to create liberty.  Our presence shows the doubters how far a people can go if you only give them freedom.


I shall raise my glass, in the name of the vision based on our shared values, that liberty can become reality in every corner of the world, and that our story of hope, support and effort will inspire those who today can only dream of freedom.


(A toast is offered.)  (Applause.)


PRESIDENT BUSH:  Mr. President, thank you very much, and, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you, as well, for your gracious hospitality.  I'm really thrilled to be here in Estonia.  I love being in a country that values liberty and freedom.  I appreciate being in a country that understands there are duties and obligations beyond her border to help others realize the benefits of liberty and freedom.  I'm very proud of your military, and I'm pleased to be in the presence of those who wear the uniform of Estonia.  I know our military has great respect for the Estonian soldiers.


I am amazed to be in a country that has been able to effect a flat tax in such a positive way.  I am impressed by the e-governance that you have here in Estonia. 


All in all, this has been a very worthwhile and exciting visit for me, and I thank you for your warm hospitality.  And I'd like to raise my glass to the leadership of this important country, to our friendship, and most importantly, to the people of Estonia. 


(A toast is offered.)  (Applause.)


END 11:49 A.M. (Local)