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Bush Praises U.S.-Danish Partnership in War on Terrorism

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2005 – President Bush today thanked Denmark for providing hundreds of its troops to augment U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the global war on terrorism.

"Denmark is a close ally and a partner of the United States," Bush told Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Bush made a stopover in Denmark prior to his attendance at a conference in Scotland of leaders of the Group of Eight nations. The G-8 includes the major industrialized nations: the United States, France, Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada.

With Rasmussen at his side, Bush said he appreciated Denmark's "steadfast support for freedom and peace in Afghanistan and Iraq" and saluted Danish troops stationed overseas alongside U.S. and other coalition forces.

Bush said the United States, Denmark and other nations also have collaborated on the Proliferation Security Initiative, which seeks to interdict the movement of weapons of mass destruction around the world.

The initiative is "an attempt by free countries to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction," Bush said, noting that Denmark has "played a leading role" in that endeavor. Denmark also is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Denmark and the United States are longtime friends and allies that "share the same fundamental goals and values," Rasmussen said. Denmark has sent more than 500 of its troops to Iraq because, "in the struggle between democracy and dictatorship, you cannot stay neutral," the prime minister said.

Bush noted that he and Rasmussen also discussed the situation at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Bush emphasized that detainees there receive good treatment.

"The prisoners are well treated in Guantanamo," Bush declared, noting that the Red Cross can inspect the facility "at any time, any day."

Many Guantanamo detainees have been released after being interviewed by U.S. officials, Bush said. Detainees still being held there will be subject to "fair and open trials" as soon as the U.S. court system decides whether to employ military tribunals or civilian courts.

The detainees at Guantanamo "are being treated humanely," Bush reiterated, noting "very few prison systems around the world that have seen such scrutiny as this one."

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