President Bush Discusses Iraq Remarks by
President Bush and Polish President Kwasniewski in Photo Opportunity
The Oval Office
11:28 A.M. EST
PRESIDENT BUSH: What we're going to do here is have a couple of
opening statements; two questions from the American press, two
questions from the Polish press.
Let me first start by saying how much I'm honored that my friend,
the President of Poland, is back in Washington. We're thrilled
you're here. My only regret is that you didn't bring your beautiful
wife with you, the First Lady of Poland.
But we're here to have a substantive talk
on a lot of issues, issues ranging from the war on terror to the
recent decision by the Polish government on the purchase of
U.S.-made aircraft, to how best to implement that decision, to let
the Polish people benefit so the decision is not only good for the
defense ministry of Poland, but it's good for the people of Poland.
And the President cares deeply about the people of Poland and
we'll have a good discussion along those lines. I've got no better
friend in Europe today than Poland. One of the reasons why is
because this man has made a commitment to work together, as equal
partners, in the war on terror, on the desire to lift the -- find
freedom for people who live in misery.
And so Mr. President, we're so glad you're back, and welcome back
to the Oval Office.
PRESIDENT KWASNIEWSKI: Thank you.
PRESIDENT BUSH: I appreciate you.
PRESIDENT KWASNIEWSKI: Mr. President, dear friends, so after very
short time -- because I paid official visit to the United States
July last year -- I am again in Oval Office, in White House in
Washington, and I think this is a good sign that our cooperation,
our relations are very active and very friendly.
Now we'll have consultations, we will discuss all the problems
concerning war against terror, at the national situation. And I
think today is the best time to discuss, because before action,
before last decisions it's necessary to exchange opinions, of
experiences, of some ideas. And that is very substantial element of
my trip to Washington now.
Second, what President Bush mentioned, Poland decided to have
your fighter F-16. It was very transparent, very open and very well
prepared tender, and I think we have a chance not only to have good
place for Polish army, not only to have a good contribution to our
NATO membership -- but we have a chance to open new chapter in the
economic relations between Poland and United States, and this is the
next reason of my visit and of our discussion.
America has unique chance to accelerate economic activities,
investment activities in Poland. We are open, we are prepared, we
have good practice, we have specialists. And what is my
satisfaction, America wants to do it. That's what is good news, good
message for all of us here in the United States and Poland, as well.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Fournier.
Q Thank you, sir. Jack Kelly has very publicly promised North
Korea energy aid in exchange for Pyongyang giving up its nuclear
program. Isn't that rewarding North Korea for bad behavior --
something you promised never to do?
PRESIDENT BUSH: First of all, there's a big concern here in our
country about North Korea and I'm absolutely convinced this issue
will be solved in a peaceful way. I want to remind the American
people that prior to North Korea making the decision it made, that I
had instructed our Secretary of State to approach North Korea about
a bold initiative, an initiative which would talk about energy and
food, because we care deeply about the suffering of the North Korean
And then the North Koreans made a decision. And the decision they
made was to ignore international norm, ignore treaties that they had
-- agreements that they had reached, and start building potential
nuclear weapons, enriching uranium. And now they have expelled --
are in the process of kicking out IEAE [sic] people.
I view this as an opportunity to bind together nations in the
neighborhood and around the world to make it clear to the North
Koreans that we expect this issue to be resolved peacefully, and we
expect them to disarm. We expect them not to develop nuclear
weapons. And if they so choose to do so -- their choice -- then I
will reconsider whether or not we will start the bold initiative
that I talked to Secretary Powell about.
People say, well, are you willing to talk to North Korea? Of
course we are. But what this nation won't do is be blackmailed. And
what this nation will do is use this as an opportunity to bring the
Chinese and the Russians and South Koreans and the Japanese to the
table to solve this problem peacefully.
PRESIDENT KWASNIEWSKI: I agree. I think in the Korean case
absolutely not to compare with Iraq's case. And we have a chance to
discuss about North Korea with very serious partners which are
thinking the same way. I mean, Japan, Russia, China, South Korea. We
have a chance to propose something very positive to North Korea,
maybe not for regime -- because when I read some information about
this regime, it's not so easy to propose something -- something
special. But absolutely. I am sure that we have enough possibilities
to propose positive solution for this case, but with all
PRESIDENT BUSH: Would you care to call on somebody from Poland,
Q Can the war of terror be decisively won? This is a question for
both Presidents. And what would be Poland's role in the war of
terror -- on terror?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Let me start. You bet the war on terror can be
won. And not only can it be won, we're going to win it. And the way
you win it is you work together. You share intelligence, you
complement each other's efforts. If we find somebody thinking about
doing something to our friends in Poland, we'll share the
information with this government, and vice versa. We will work
together to cut off money. And we will hunt the killers down one at
a time. And that's exactly what we are doing and exactly what we are
going to do.
We're going to find them. They think they can hide in a cave in
the outer reaches of Afghanistan, we will go in the cave and find
them. And one by one, we are dismantling this terrorist network. It
requires a lot of communication, it requires a lot of cooperation,
and it requires a lot of patience. And this government has got all
Q Mr. President, there are 10 million of the Polish Americans in
the United States. What is your perception about the Polish
PRESIDENT BUSH: I think that one of the greatest contributions to
Poland to our country is Polish Americans: people who are
enterprising, hardworking, God-fearing, family-loving people. One of
the great strengths of our country is our diversity, and part of our
diversity is the fact that a lot of our citizens were born in Poland
and/or their fathers and mothers were born in Poland or their
grandparents were born in Poland. Truly, one of the great blessings
and gifts from Poland to this country is the Polish heritage.
Q Sir. Mr. President, the U.N. weapons inspectors say they need
PRESIDENT BUSH: Is it Steve or Scott?
Q The weapons inspectors say they need until March, maybe six
months, maybe a year. Is this what you had in mind when you went to
the U.N. back in September?
PRESIDENT BUSH: What I have in mind for Saddam Hussein is to
disarm. The United Nations spoke with one voice. We said, we expect
Saddam Hussein, for the sake of peace, to disarm. That's the
question: Is Saddam Hussein disarming? He's been given 11 years to
disarm. And so the world came together and we have given him one
last chance to disarm. So far, I haven't seen any evidence that he
Time is running out on Saddam Hussein. He must disarm. I'm sick
and tired of games and deception. And that's my view of timetables.