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...

Now, the President will have to talk to you about Afghanistan . But I would be very cautious about whether or not the Iranian influence there in Afghanistan is a positive force -- and therefore, it's going to be up to them to prove to us and prove to the government that they are.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: I had a good discussion with President Bush on civilian casualties. I'm very happy to tell you that President Bush felt very much with the Afghan people, that he calls the Afghan people allies in the war against terror, and friends, and that he is as much concerned as I am, as the Afghan people are. I was very happy with that conversation.

Q Mr. Karzai -- can I ask my question in Dari first?


Q (Speaking Dari.) You have recently become a father, and also, you have recently pardoned a teenager who suicide himself, and you said he washed -- he was brainwashed.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Brainwashed, yes.

Q Yes. What do you think about the future of Afghanistan in view of this problem?

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Well, ma'am, the man -- the boy, I should say, that I pardoned, was a 14-year-old boy from Pakistan's South Waziristan agency. He was sent by his father to a madrassa to get education because he could not any more afford to have him in school, because his mother had a heart ailment, and they had to spend money on her treatment.

Having sent the boy to a madrassa, he disappeared from there. After a few months his father heard that he was arrested in Afghanistan , and then he came to Afghanistan . And having seen that this was a teenage -- rather, legally underage innocent boy, used by terrorists to kill himself and to kill other innocent people, I felt that it was the right decision to pardon him to give him a new opportunity for education and a new life, and to send a message to his mother that your child is going to be back with you. I am very glad I did that.

But this gives us a lesson about those who are the enemies of all of us, the enemies of people who use young children, who brainwashes them, and who forces them to kill themselves.

The message should be clear to the rest of the world about the evil that we are fighting: The heartless people that we are fighting, who don't even have any feeling for young children, for babies, for teenagers. Most of that, we know today, that the terrorists are buying and selling suicide bombers. We have received calls in our government offices by handlers of suicide bombers that they want to sell them to us. So it's become a trade, a mean trade; merchants of death are around there. So it's our job to get rid of them.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Thank you very much.

END 11:42 A.M. EDT

SOURCE White House Press Office