Beginning of the Meeting with Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger 2005-02-12 19:46:09 The Kremlin, Moscow President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Kissinger, Allow me to wish you a warm welcome to Moscow. We met about a year ago and I remember very well the substantial discussion we had on that occasion. Practically everything you said proved correct, both regarding key developments in international life and the domestic political situation in the United States. And our meeting took place before the presidential elections in the United States. I am therefore greatly interested in having another opportunity to exchange views on the current situation with you and it is generally very interesting to have this chance to meet with you and talk. I am very happy to see you. Welcome! FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HENRY KISSINGER (back translation from Russian): Thank you very much, Mr President. I always find it interesting to be in your country, a country that is of such importance for the world’s future and for peace throughout the world, and I greatly appreciate this new opportunity to meet with you. I am a good friend of President Bush and a firm supporter of his foreign policy. I know just how much importance he places on relations with you personally and relations between the United States and the Russian Federation. Vladimir Putin: We have common friends, Mr Kissinger. Henry Kissinger: Exactly. I have come here in a personal capacity but have come with the aim of strengthening ties between our countries’ leaders and between our two countries in general. Vladimir Putin: I remember very well what a delicious dinner you put on for me at your home in New York. I hope that the work of our cooks will be to your liking today. Henry Kissinger: I still have the same chef as I had since you visited last time, so you are welcome to come again. Vladimir Putin: Please pass on my warmest greetings to him. Thank you.