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Bush and Saakashvili on Democracy

President George W. Bush says that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has done much to promote freedom and economic growth in his country. During a joint press conference in Washington, D.C., following their meeting at the White House, Mr. Bush said that Mr. Saakashvili "is a man who shares the same values I share":

"He believes in the universality of freedom. He believes that democracy is the best way to yield the peace. The Georgian government and the people of Georgia have acted on those beliefs."

Mr. Saakashvili has also battled corruption in Georgia, said Mr. Bush:

"One of the interesting stories that captured my imagination is when the president first came into office and he cleaned out the police forces in order to rid the country of corruption in the law enforcement - understanding full well that the people must trust security in order for a society to flourish."

President Saakashvili said that the United States' "freedom agenda," aimed at spreading democracy, is working:

"You can see it in Georgia. We are seeing it in Iraq. And please stay there, please fight there until the end. We will stay with you there, whatever it takes, because your success in Iraq is success for countries like Georgia. It's a success for every individual that loves freedom, every individual that wants security, to live in [a] more secure world for himself, herself or their children."

President Bush said that the eight-hundred fifty troops that Georgia has deployed to Iraq are helping the Iraqi people "realize the great benefits of democracy."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.