We did have a very constructive dialogue. It certainly confirmed my impressions of Slovenia, that this was a man with whom I could have an honest dialogue, that we can discuss our opportunities and have frank discussions of our differences, which we did.
I appreciate so very much President Putin’s willingness to think differently about how to make the world more peaceful. He cares deeply about the citizens of his land. I, obviously, care deeply about the citizens of my land. We’re young leaders who are interested in forging a more peaceful world.
And along these lines, as the president said, that we are going to have open and honest dialogue about defensive systems, as well as reduction of offensive systems. The two go hand-in-hand in order to set up a new strategic framework for peace.
So as we can continue progress to find common ground to make the world more peaceful, both of us want to seize the moment and lead, and I appreciate this attitude so very much with President Putin.
Well, first, let me start by saying how optimistic I am about the possibilities of reaching accord. It’s one of the things about the person with whom I’m talking, President Putin, is that he has agreed, like I have agreed, to find common ground if possible.
The only thing I can do is once again characterize our discussions as open and optimistic and very positive. I was struck by how easy it is to talk to President Putin; how easy it is to speak from my heart, without fear of complicating any relationship. And I enjoyed listening to what he has to say as well. I’m optimistic that we can get something done.
Inevitably, there will be questions. Because after all, what we’re talking about doing is changing a mindset of the world. We’re basically saying the Cold War is forever over, and the vestiges of the Cold War that locked us both into a hostile situation are over.
It’s an exciting opportunity, and I can tell you that the discussions have been very meaningful.
Well, I’m looking forward to future G-8 summits. People should be allowed to protest in a peaceful way. The great thing about freedom is that it provides an outlet for people to express their differences. Having said that, I believe that which we discussed today and in the last couple of days will make the world a heck of a lot more prosperous and peaceful place.
The philosophy of free trade and starting a new round of free trade discussions makes eminent sense, not only for those who happen to be prosperous today but for those who aren’t. And all the demonstrators and all the folks have to do is ask the leaders who came from the developing nations. Ask my friend from El Salvador what trade means to him.
And so, I reiterate what I said before. People are allowed to protest, but for those who claim they’re speaking on behalf of the poor, for those who claim that shutting down trade will benefit the poor, they’re dead wrong.
Well, let me reiterate what I said after my World Bank speech. The dollar needs to float in the marketplace, and that the dollar – if the market is allowed to function, the dollar will be at an appropriate level. And there are both, obviously, there are some that want us to artificially [garbled] the dollar in our country, and that’s not the role, in my judgment, of the country. The market ought to do that, not the nation. And so I continue to assure my friends and allies that we will let the market adjust. I also assured them that we were taking the steps necessary within our country to strengthen our economy. I was able to herald the fact that the first rebate checks made it into the mail, and I heralded it from a remote location here in Genoa.
Well, given the room temperature here, I’m not surprised you brought up the subject of warming. So I’ll try to keep my answer short for the benefit of all, particularly those of us who must do something in Rome.
The spirit of our dialogue was very positive. I guess you could say that I broke the ice during my last trip to Europe, so people understood exactly where I was coming from.
I’m very confident that the leaders appreciated my straightforwardness the last time I came to Europe and my willingness to continue to dialogue on this very important issue.
I have a representative at the Bonn summit. I saw her on TV the other day. She made the case very clearly. Paula made the case very clearly about what our position is.
With that, I want to again thank my friend. I look forward to future dialogue. Thank you all very much for you questions. And again, we thank the good people of Italy for their kind hospitality.