Photo Op with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
The Rose Garden
The White House
Washington, D.C.
January 31, 2002
6:10 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we've had a substantial discussion with my friend, the Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder. I appreciate him coming over to say hello again. We spent a great deal of time talking about our mutual desire to rid the war of terror. And I'm so pleased with Germany's cooperation. They've provided troops in Afghanistan, troops that have performed really well, according to our military, and I want to congratulate you for that.

I also thanked the Chancellor for hosting the Bonn convention, and who's made a substantial stride toward an Afghanistan that will be able to survive after we have ridded it of the Taliban. I appreciate so very much the Chancellor's willingness to help Afghanistan help herself, in terms of training a police force. I told him we're in the process of setting up a plan to help Afghanistan develop her own military. So we're linked up well in our mutual desires to leave the world more peaceful.

So, Mr. Chancellor, I'm so honored you're here. I want to welcome you.

THE CHANCELLOR: Well, ladies and gentlemen, I can only absolutely confirm what his Excellency, the President, has just said regarding our discussions, particularly focusing, obviously, on the fight against terrorism; but also about the fight that has happened in Afghanistan and that the support that has been rendered by us, too.

We, as you all know, are very committed to the participation in the peace corps in Afghanistan, under the umbrella of the United Nations. Obviously, and as the President has just pointed out, we are very interested in committing ourselves to training police forces, law enforcement forces within Afghanistan, because we find it crucially important that such intra-Afghanistan proper homegrown police forces can be built up in the process. And in the more long-term, obviously, a military structure will be needed here, too.

I, obviously, wouldn't like to forget the fact that I have congratulated the President on the economic performance that the country has obviously been able to show. We do see some positive signs here; things are being fueled again, which obviously is not just positive and good for the U.S. American economy, but also for the global economy, too.

I'm very pleased, indeed, that obviously there are now some hopeful signs here because, obviously, as soon as the economy runs smoothly again here that is going to be good for the global economy and, therefore, good for Europe and certainly for Germany, too.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Gerhard.

END 6:15 P.M. EST