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Remarks by the President at Lunch with Southeast Asian Leaders

Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2580

SYDNEY, Australia, Sept. 7  /Christian Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush at lunch with Southeast Asian leaders:

InterContinental Sydney

1:49 P.M. (Local)

PRESIDENT BUSH:  Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for inviting me to join the ASEAN group.  ASEAN represents our fourth largest trading partner.  In other words, this is a group of friends that represent more than just social acquaintances, you represent commerce and trade and prosperity.  And I want to thank you very much for giving me a chance to come and talk to you about our common interests and common goals.

I invited the ASEAN leaders to Texas at their convenience.  I'm looking forward to hosting you down there.  I'm looking forward to continuing our constructive conversation on -- whether it be democracy, or fighting terror, or expanding trade, or avian flu, or climate change.

I also am pleased to announce that we'll be naming an ambassador to ASEAN, so that we can make sure that the ties we've established over the past years remain firmly entrenched.

So I appreciate your hospitality.  It's good to be amongst friends.  I enjoyed our candid conversation and I thank you for your leadership in this important part of the world. 

Thank you all. 

END            1:51 P.M. (Local)