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President Bush Meets with East African Leaders - 2002-12-05

President Bush met with Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to discuss regional security following last week's bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya.

The suicide bombers killed ten Kenyans and three Israelis. President Bush told President Moi that Americans remember those killed in an attack he believes was the work of al-Qaida terrorists.

"Our country mourns the loss of life in Kenya, the tragedy that befell your country as a result of killers trying to terrorize freedom-loving people," President Bush said.

Kenyans are veterans in the fight against terrorism following the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania which Washington also blames on al-Qaida.

President Bush says last week's attack at the Kenyan coast shows that no country is safe from terrorists and all countries must work together to stop them.

"The war on terror is global in nature," he said. "If the terrorists can strike in Kenya, they can strike in Ethiopia, they could strike in Europe, and that we must continue this war to hunt these killers down one at a time."

President Moi and Prime Minister Meles both pledged to continue working with the United States on information sharing and efforts to cut-off terrorist finances.

President Bush said he is grateful for the support of the Kenyan and Ethiopian leaders, who he called "strong friends of America" and "steadfast allies, who the American people can count on when it comes to winning the first war of the 21st century."

The leaders also discussed East African drought and stopping the spread of AIDS along with regional efforts to end fighting in Sudan and Somalia.