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Transcript of remarks at the White House State Dinner: The White House, Washington: 16 May 2006.



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PRIME MINISTER

16 May 2006

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP REMARKS AT THE WHITE HOUSE STATE DINNER, THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………

Mr. President and Mrs. Bush, ladies and gentlemen. For the Australians present, can I say to you and your charming wife, we are greatly honoured by the wonderful courtesy and hospitality that you've extended to us, not only tonight, but in the days before on this visit of ours to Washington. You've spoken of the friendship between our two countries. It is a friendship rooted not only in history, but it's a friendship and partnership rooted very firmly in common values.

I share your sense of optimism, Mr. President, about the future. The world will need America just as much in the future as the world has needed America in the past, and as the world needs America at the present. Those foolish enough to suggest that America should have a lesser role in the affairs of the world should pause and think whether they really mean what they say, because a world without a dedicated, involved America will be a lesser world, a less safe world, a more precarious world.

And if I have a single message for the people of your great country, and that is that the world continues to need America, and the world will be a better place for the involvement and the commitment of the people of the United States of America in the years that lie ahead.

I value very much the friendship between our two countries. I value very much the personal friendship I have with you, Mr. President. You're a staunch friend, you're a faithful ally, you're a strong leader, you have articulated the interests of your country

and of the free world at a time of unique and different challenge. And for that I thank you and pay tribute to you.

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Janette and I warmly reciprocate the kind things that you've said about us. We greatly value those things and we thank you most warmly for your very gracious hospitality.

Can I ask you to join me in a toast—to the enduring friendship of the people of Australia and the people of the United States.

[ends]

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