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Bush Applauds NATO's Changing Focus to Confront Terrorism

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2004 – President Bush today applauded NATO's decision to restructure "to oppose threats that arise beyond the borders of Europe."

In a speech at Galatasaray University in Istanbul, Turkey, Bush said that for most of its history, NATO's focus has been on deterring threats from communist Eastern Europe. The president is in Turkey to attend a summit of leaders of NATO nations.

"In this century, NATO looks outward to new threats that gather in secret and bring sudden violence to peaceful cities," he said.

NATO is facing terrorist networks that "rejoice when parents bury their murdered children (and) when bound men plead for mercy," Bush said.

"We face outlaw regimes that give aid and shelter to these killers and seek weapons of mass murder," he said. "We face challenges of corruption and poverty and disease, which throw whole nations into chaos and despair."

He said these are the conditions in which terrorism survives.

Bush expressed support for NATO's decisions to provide security forces in Afghanistan and work to train security forces in Iraq.

"Through decades of the Cold War, our great alliance of liberty never failed in its duties," Bush said. "And we are rising to our duties once again."

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Related Sites:
Transcript of President Bush's Remarks
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO Istanbul Summit

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