Remarks by President Bush and President Karzai of Afghanistan in Press Availability

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of remarks by President Bush and President Karzai of Afghanistan in press availability: Camp David 11:17 A.M. EDT PRESIDENT BUSH: Good morning...


Yes, we do have the problem of poppies and narcotics in Afghanistan . Afghanistan is committed to fighting it because this evil is first hurting us, and then youth in the rest of the world. So this is for Afghanistan to work against, and for the rest of us to work against. We are committed. It will take time; we are realistic about that. But the fight is there and I hope your assistance will continue to be delivered to Afghanistan to fight narcotics. We have raised our army, indeed. We are working on our police. Our police needs a lot of improvement. And I'm glad that you have committed to helping us with the raising of better police in Afghanistan .

The fight against corruption is going on. We have developed a mechanism, worked through a commission headed by the Chief Justice of Afghanistan that will be ready in two months from now, and will be announced to the Afghan people on hows and measures and the time frame that we will need to have an effective fight against corruption in Afghanistan .

The rest, life, is going on well, with a lot of hope. We have a better administration, more capabilities. We can do lots of things on our own, and I'm sure your continued assistance will make life better for us. And thank you very much, Mr. President . Nice of you to receive me here.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thanks for coming. A couple of questions. Deb.

Q Mr. President , if you had actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of top al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan , would you wait for Musharraf's permission to send in U.S. forces, even if it meant missing an opportunity to take them out? Or have you and Musharraf worked out some deal about this already?

And President Karzai , what will be your top concern when you meet with Musharraf later this week?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I am confident that with actionable intelligence, we will be able to bring top al Qaeda to justice. We're in constant communications with the Pakistan government. It's in their interest that foreign fighters be brought to justice. After all, these are the same ones who were plotting to kill President Musharraf . We share a concern. And I'm confident, with real actionable intelligence, we will get the job done.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: When President Musharraf visits Afghanistan on the 9th of August to inaugurate the joint Pakistan-Afghanistan convention, or jirga, together with me, we will be discussing further improvements and relations between the two countries. The two countries are neighbors; they've been having extensive relationships with each other. We will be discussing improvement of those relations on all aspects of them. We will also be discussing the possible outcome of the joint jirga between the two countries, and how effectively, then, we can carry on the fight against terrorism in both countries and in the region as a result of that jirga. So it's a -- it's going to be, I'm sure, a good meeting, ma'am.

Afghan press?

Q I will ask in Pashto and then I will translate my question. My question is for Mr. Karzai . (Speaking Pashto.) I will repeat in English, too. Four years ago, in a press conference, Mr. President Karzai said Taliban do not pose any threat to Afghan people. So who do you think supported Taliban to threaten the security by doing kidnappings and taking the government officials, and why?

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Four years ago I did say that, and I continue to say that: The Taliban do pose dangers to our innocent people; to children going to school; to our clergy; to our teachers; to our engineers; to international aid workers. They are not posing any threat to the government of Afghanistan , they are not posing any threat to the institutions of Afghanistan , or to the build-up of institutions of Afghanistan . It's a force that's defeated; it's a force that is frustrated; it's a force that is acting in cowardice by killing children going to school.