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Remarks by the President After Meeting with the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Former Secretaries of State and Former Secretaries of Defense

President George W. Bush
The Roosevelt Room
The White House
January 5, 2006

Released by the White House Office of the Press Secretary

10:31 A.M. EST

President Bush, right center, is flanked by Vice President Dick Cheney, left, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, right, at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006. [ AP/WWP]THE PRESIDENT: It's been my honor to host former Secretaries of State and Secretaries of Defense from Republican administrations and Democratic administrations here at the White House. I've asked Secretary Rice and Secretary Rumsfeld and Ambassador Khalilzad and General Casey to bring these men and women up to date on our strategy for victory in Iraq.

I've also had a chance to listen to their concerns, their suggestions about the way forward. Not everybody around this table agree with my decision to go into Iraq, I fully understand that. But these are good solid Americans who understand that we've got to succeed now that we're there. And I'm most grateful for the suggestions that have been given. We take to heart the advice; we appreciate your experience and we appreciate you taking time out of your day.

We have a dual track strategy for victory. On the one hand, we will work to have a political process that says to all Iraqis, the future belongs to you. And on the other hand, we'll continue to work on the security situation there. The main thrust of our success will be when the Iraqis are able to take the fight to the enemy that wants to stop their democracy, and we're making darn good progress along those lines.

Again, I want to thank you all for coming. I appreciate your interest. I appreciate you being such a solid citizen of our country.

END 10:33 A.M. EST



Released on January 5, 2006

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