Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Bush & Seniora Taking a Walk in the Garden

BUSH: It has been my honor to welcome the prime minister of Lebanon to the Oval Office. Prime Minister, thanks for coming.
SINIORA: Thank you very much for giving us this opportunity.
BUSH: Well, we just had a really interesting discussion.
I told the prime minister that the United States strongly supports a free and independent and sovereign Lebanon. And we took great joy in seeing the Cedar Revolution. We understand that the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets to express their desire to be free required courage.

BUSH: And we support the desire of the people to have a government responsive to their needs and a government that is free -- truly free.
We talked about the need to make sure that there is a full investigation on the death of former Prime Minister Hariri. And we'll work with the international community to see that justice is done.

We talked about the great tradition of Lebanon to serve as a model of entrepreneurship and prosperity. Beirut is one of the great international cities. And I'm convinced that if Lebanon is truly free and independent and democratic, that Beirut will once again regain her place as a center of financial and culture and the arts.

BUSH: There's no question in my mind that Lebanon can serve as a great example for what is possible in the broader Middle East; that out of the tough times the country has been through will rise a state that shows that it's possible of people of religious difference to live side by side in peace, to show that it is possible for people to put aside past histories to live together in a way that the people want, which is there for (ph) to be peace and hope and opportunity.
And so, Mr. Prime Minister, we're really glad you're here. I want to thank you for the wonderful visit we had, and welcome you here to the White House.

SINIORA: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
I would like to really thank President Bush for giving us the opportunity to
be here at the White House and to discuss matters of mutual interest to the United States and Lebanon, and matters that have to do with the developments that have been taking place in Lebanon. For the past over 16 or 18 months, Lebanon has been undergoing major changes. And Lebanon has really been committing itself that we want the change to happen in a democratic and a peaceful manner, but at the same time to really stay on course; that we are there to meet the expectations of the people to have a united, liberal, free country, and at the same time prosperous economy.
So [those] are the matters that we have discussed with President Bush. And I really would like to seize this opportunity to thank President Bush and the United States for t
he support that it has been extending to Lebanon throughout the past periods.
And with all the resolutions that were taken since the assassinations of Prime Minister Hariri. The United States has been of great support to Lebanon.
I am really convinced that President Bush and the United States will stand beside Lebanon to have Lebanon stay as a free, democratic, united and sovereign state. And the United States is really of great importance in this regard, whether this can be done directly or indirectly.

So I would like once more to express our great thanks for President Bush and then the United States for this.

BUSH: Thank you, sir. Appreciate you.
SINIORA: Thank you very much.
BUSH: Thanks for coming.

Source: Congressional Quarterly
Personal Comments:

Yesterday, I had a discussion
with Firas about Fouad Seniora's visit to the US.
Firas pointed out two things. The first was the fact that Seniora was given a solid 2 hours with the president. This amount of time is a privilege that is given only to heads of states who "deserve it."

Firas then pointed out a little nuance that was somewhat less satisfying: Salloukh was supposed to accompany Seniora in all of his meetings. Now, under normal circumstances, a foreign minister accompanying his Prime Minister to meetings with a foreign head of state, is not such a big deal. But in this case, Salloukh reminds me of the Political Commissars that the Communist Party used to impose on Officers of the Armed Forces to ensure their adherence to Party Doctrine.
That is why it pleased me to see the following picture o
n the Lebanese Lobby website!

Hopefully Seniora won't get a public spanking from Nabih Berri in Parliament when he returns to Lebanon - as he did when he returned from the Dictators' League Conference a couple of months ago.


So romantic said...

ba3d shway Bush is going to tell Seniora "you complete me" a la Tom Cruise and Renee Zellwiger! Don't mean to make fun, I think it's cute.

Anonymous said...

"Firas pointed out two things. The first was the fact that Seniora was given a solid 2 hours with the president. This amount of time is a privilege that is given only to heads of states who "deserve it." "

Hahaha... please stop deluding yourself. Heads of states are not received because they "deserve" anything. They are received because the host wants to either cooperate with or to manipulate them.

Given the US track record in foreign policy with non-Europeans over the past 6 years under Bush, I'm going to lean towards the latter.

Really, I love Lebanon. I think you should be working to strengthen it. Just don't delude yourself into thinking magnificent things about certain Lebanese figures, lest you devolve into another orgy of ass patting a la "From Lebanon" on LBCTV.

Raja said...

USA manipulate us all you want PLEASE!!!!

Spare us from Iranian, Saudi, Egyptian and Syrian Manipulation!

I WANT to be manipulated by the US

Ramzi S said...

If we have to choose I would rather be under the US sphere of influence then the rest.

But at the same time it would be nice if we have a moratorium on travels. Seniora goes to the US and Hizb goes to Iran. As the headline from Naharnet

"Hizbullah delegation to Tehran Congratulates Leader on Uranium Enrichment"

What a joke.

romance 101 said...

If you think about it, Lebanon's story right now is kinda like a romance novel. You have the rebuffed suitor Syria saying, "If I can't have you, no one else can." You have the uppity holier than thou Iran promising "a life devoid of any luxuries but full of heavenly riches," and then you have America saying, "come with me and I will take you around the world on my superjet and shower you with rolex watches." What's a girl to do?

Ramzi S said...

The girl should stay home and tend to her house and avoid all these suiters. And when she grows up to be a women then she can have whatever and whomever she wants.

why-discuss said...

Before he goes to the US, Siniora insisted he will ask Bush to put pressure on Israel to stop flying their planes over South Lebanon. Did I hear him say that to Bush or was he so thrilled to listen to the bs Bush was saying that he forgot why he came for?

Raja said...

So Israel flies planes over Lebanese skies, and the Syrians manipulate Lebanese politics and control stooges that are still under their pay.


Looking for Mr. Right for Lebanon said...

Ramzi S., Iran did just that, it stayed home, tended to her house and avoided all these suitors, and now it's bored to death and trying to interfere with the lives of others out of sheer frustration (sexual?). No, no, the solution is to find a mate who you can have fun with as well as someone who will respect your personal boundaries. Who, who who is this suitor? Certainly not Tom Cruise, Abou Suri! (his new daughter's name).

Ramzi S said...

Why Discuss,

I agree. Siniora should have reiterated his points when he was in front of the press.

That was a golden opportunity to push the need for the US to pressure Isreal to withdraw from Shabaa and to stop violating Lebanese airspace.

He just had to repeat the above and it may have been reported or help start the debate in the US press.