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The White House

Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark before meeting

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                                    October 2, 2009 

Christiansborg Palace
Copenhagen, Denmark
11:08 A.M. CEST
PRIME MINISTER RASMUSSEN:  So, Mr. President, welcome to Copenhagen.  We have had the pleasure of your lovely wife's company for the last two days, and I am indeed very proud and honored and happy that you also found your time to stop by.  
I realize that you are here to support the bid for Chicago's Olympic Games 2016.  In that regard, I wish you the very best.  And I hope you will be successful and you will enjoy your visit to such an extent that you will return very soon.
We have a long-lasting friendship.  We have common values.  We have a lot of common issues to discuss.  And I'm really looking forward to discussing some of these issues on our common agenda.
So once again, Mr. President, welcome to Copenhagen. 
PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, thank you so much, Mr. Prime Minister.  Thank you for your hospitality and the hospitality of the people of Denmark.  We have had obviously a remarkable time in the last two days.  Michelle has been just so thrilled to be interacting with the people of Denmark.  Unfortunately my stay has not been so long, but I hope that I'll be able to return.  I've been here before and I love the city.
I want to say that, as the Prime Minister indicated, the relationship between the United States and Denmark has always been strong.  We share common values.  We have worked together on a whole range of international matters of great importance. 
Something that obviously is pressing now is the issue of climate change, and Prime Minister Rasmussen has been a great leader on this issue.  We've had occasion of discussing this is the context of the G8, as well as the recent U.N. General Assembly meeting, and Secretary Ban Ki-moon organized a dinner in which the Prime Minister participated.  The upcoming meeting here in Copenhagen around climate change is something that we are keenly interested in, and I'm looking forward to discussions in depth about how we can move that process forward.  So we appreciate your leadership.
I should add that we are grateful generally for the sacrifices of the people of Denmark with respect to our efforts in Afghanistan.  They are very difficult, but Denmark is a country that has consistently, I think, been willing to sacrifice both time, resources, and obviously, most importantly, personnel in the broad efforts there to stabilize the country.  And we're grateful for that, as well.
And finally, I want to thank the Royal Family and Her Majesty for the extraordinary hospitality that she's shown since we've been here.
So I thank the people of Denmark.  I thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for hosting us.  And I'm looking forward to a fruitful conversation and continued strengthening of the bond between the United States and your country.
11:11 A.M. CEST