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Remarks by the President after Video Teleconference with Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders, Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders, and Brigade Combat Commanders

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


WASHINGTON, July 13 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush after video teleconference with Iraq provincial reconstruction team leaders, embedded provincial reconstruction team leaders, and brigade combat commanders:

Roosevelt Room

10:30 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  As part of our strategy to succeed in Iraq, I not only reenforced our military efforts with more troops, we also surged civilians to work with our military to help the reconciliation efforts in a country that is still recovering from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein.

And today my Security Council here had a opportunity not only to speak with our Ambassador in Iraq, but also five members of provincial reconstruction teams, three civilians and two military -- colonels.  They have briefed us on the grassroots effort to improve services, to improve the economy, to encourage local government, all aiming at enhancing this concept of reconciliation from the bottom up.

We heard from the PRT leader in Anbar.  I had the honor of speaking with him months ago, and now he has briefed us on the progress that he has seen.  Listen, there is still a lot of work to be done.  But these people at the grassroots understand that most Iraqis want to live in peace and that, with time, we'll be able to help them realize that dream.

And so I want to thank you once again for your outstanding service to our nation in the cause of peace.  What happens in Iraq matters to the United States of America.  A violent, chaotic Iraq will affect our security at home.  An Iraq that can self-govern, provide basic services to its people, and be an ally in the war on terror will mean that all of us have accepted a great challenge and laid a foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren.

And so, thank you for your service.  I appreciate your -- I want to thank your families who are supporting you in this just and noble cause.  And may God bless you all.  Thank you.

END             10:33 A.M. EDT