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The Oval Office
10:11 A.M. EDT
PRESIDENT BUSH: Bienvenidos, Mr. Presidente, a la Casa Blanca. I'm proud to welcome the President of Peru to the Oval Office. We've had a fascinating and important discussion. First of all, I appreciated his experience, and I appreciated his advice on some key issues. He comes to the Oval Office as a friend, somebody with whom I can have good working relations.
We talked about world issues, we talked about issues regarding South America and
And we talked about the need to work together to help promote social justice. The President has a big heart. He cares deeply about those who suffer. And I assured the President it's in our nation's interest that we work with our friends in the -- in
All in all, it was an excellent meeting. And, Mr. President, welcome.
PRESIDENT GARCIA: (As translated.) Thank you. I am very happy to be here for the first time in the Oval Office. President Bush and I have agreed on the general topics that we discussed in terms of strengthening democracy and also strengthening relations between developed countries and developing countries. And one basic tool for that goal is free trade. And we are very satisfied to have heard President Bush's promise to work with the Congress to push forward the passage of a free trade agreement with
And we have explained today that in terms of free trade, we are looking for an agreement that does much as focus on the most modern or the most significant economic groups in the country. We are also looking to have a free trade agreement that is focused internally, and that will benefit our entire population, all our productive sectors, including the less advantaged sectors so that they may export to the world and to the United States, in particular.
We see the free trade agreement as one of our tools in our fight against poverty, and also a tool for us to strengthen equality. Also, however, it is a tool that will help us achieve security through democracy, and to give our population a road, a goal, and an aspiration in terms of economic development in the country.
We see our role as a country in terms of helping strengthen democracy and achieving friendship without threat in our region. And in this regard,
And one issue that we need to work on is a full eradication of the threat of drugs. And this is a commitment that we share with the
In the relationship between the
And finally, I want to say that I'm a leader who belongs to a party that is the populist party, that believes in social justice and fights for sovereignty in our country. However, I recognize the opportunities that this time offers us in terms of our economy, and I believe it is important for our peoples to have specific and concrete gains in terms of the economy, education, and health. And I believe that this free trade agreement that we have been referring to is a very important tool in its regard.
And we have told the President that even though we are coming from a more modest position, we believe that with our leadership we can stand side-by-side with the
And I want to thank the President for his hospitality. I look forward to continuing to work together and I hope that we will see the President soon in
PRESIDENT BUSH: Muchas gracias, Senór. Thank you.
END 10:25 A.M. EDT