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Bush Highlights International Contributions to Iraqi Peace

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2003 – Nations of the world are responding to U.S. calls for financial and military aid in Iraq, President Bush said in his radio address today.

Bush highlighted the support the people of Iraq are receiving out of the Madrid donors' summit. A total of 89 delegations attended the Oct. 23-24 summit. It raised about $33 billion, including $20 billion from the United States. Japan, Saudi Arabia, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were other big donors.

The summit follows a unanimous vote in the U.N. Security Council for a multinational force under U.S. command to ensure security in Iraq and to support efforts to rebuild the nation. "This growing financial support will allow us to build on the success of the broad military coalition already serving in Iraq," Bush said.

U.S. forces in Iraq are serving with a broad coalition of international troops. More than 24,000 international troops from 32 countries are involved in stability operations in Iraq. The countries recognize the importance of a peaceful, democratic Iraq and are willing to risk their sons and daughters for the mission, the president noted.

"Coalition forces are helping to hunt down the terrorists and Saddam holdouts, clearing mines from Iraqi waterways so that aid shipments can proceed and coordinating the recruitment and training of a new Iraqi police force, army and border police," Bush said.

There are two multinational divisions in the country - one commanded by the British centered around Basra and the other commanded by the Poles in Hillah. "Members of our coalition are also showing the compassion of our cause in Iraq," Bush said. "We are rebuilding schools and clinics and power plants. The Iraqi people are moving steadily toward a free and democratic society.

"Economic life is being restored to the cities," he continued. "A new Iraqi currency is circulating. Local governments are up and running. And Iraq will soon begin the process of drafting a constitution, with free elections to follow."

Bush did not sugarcoat the tasks ahead. Much difficult work lies ahead, he emphasized. "Terrorists and loyalists of the former regime reveal their true character by their choice of targets: They have attacked diplomats and embassies, relief workers, and the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad -- all symbols of the international effort to help the Iraqi people," he said.

"America and the international community will not be intimidated. Every coalition member understands that Iraq must never again become the home of tyranny and terror, and a threat to the world," he continued. "So we will be patient, and determined and unified. America will continue working with the United Nations and our coalition partners to finish the work we have begun."

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