Remarks by President Bush and Prime Minister Howard of Australia in Joint Press Availability

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PRIME MINISTER HOWARD: Mr. President , ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to welcome the media to this news conference. I'll say a couple of words, invite the President to speak briefly...


I believe that when the final chapters of the 21st century are written, people will say, we appreciate the courage and sacrifice made by our respective countries in laying the foundation for peace.

It's interesting we're having APEC here in Australia . And the Prime Minister and I, of course, will be sitting at the table with the Prime Minister of Japan . Sixty years ago we fought the Japanese. We've got a great relationship -- I'm sure much is going to be made of, well, do personalities define the relationship? Well, this relationship has been forged based upon values and doing hard work together. Personalities matter. It helps that he and I are friends, by the way, in terms of the alliance. But the alliance is bigger than the individuals. Our alliance has been forged in battle and in friendship and through trade. And yet we're sitting down with the former enemy, which ought to be an historical lesson of what can happen when liberty takes root in certain societies. And of course, we'll be talking about the peace. We talk about North Korea , we're talking about Asia, we talk about we can work together to achieve peace.

We are talking about trade here at the APEC summit that the Prime Minister is ably leading. I happen to believe trade is important. I think the free trade agreement between Australia and the United States has been beneficial to both our peoples. Trade is up. When trade is up it means commerce is up, goods and services are flowing more freely. It means people are more likely to make a living. And by the way, when you're trading with somebody you want their economy to be good. And I congratulate you on having such a strong economy. That's important for our trading partners to be wealthy enough to have something to trade. (Laughter.)

And so the question is can we advance the Doha Round here at the APEC. And I believe we can. I want to thank you for your able leadership. It's a hard issue to get done, but I believe, with will and determination, we can get it done. And as I'll say in the speech here Friday, we'll show flexibility when it comes to making sure this round is as successful as possible.

I am looking forward to speaking out about Burma at the APEC conference. It's inexcusable that we've got this kind of tyrannical behavior in Asia. It's inexcusable that people who march for freedom are then treated by a repressive state. And those of us who live in comfort of a free society need to speak out about these kind of human rights abuses.

And so, Mr. Prime Minister , I hope you don't mind me speaking as clearly as I possibly can about the fate of Aung San Suu Kyi and her friends, and average citizens who simply want the same thing we have, to live in a free society.

I do want to thank you very much for your leadership on climate change. Now, I know some say, well, since he's against Kyoto he doesn't care about the climate change. That's urban legend that is preposterous. As a matter of fact, the United States last year reduced overall greenhouse gas emissions and grew our economy at the same time. In other -- we showed what is possible when you deploy modern technologies that enable you to achieve economic growth so your people can work, and at the same time, become less dependent on foreign sources of oil, and at the same time, be good stewards of the environment.

So I appreciate you bringing up the nuclear power initiative. If you truly care about greenhouse gases, then you'll support nuclear power. If you believe that greenhouse gases are a priority, like a lot of us -- if we take the issue seriously, if you take the issue seriously, like I do and John does, then you should be supportive of nuclear power. After all, nuclear power enables you to generate electricity without any greenhouse gases. Anyway, your leadership at APEC has been really strong.