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Arab Leaders Issue Strong Statement Condemning Terror

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2003 – Following a meeting with Arab leaders in Sharm el- Sheikh, Egypt, President Bush said the region is united against terror and sees the potential "for broader peace among the peoples of this region."

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak the host of the meeting thanked Bush for his strong commitment to the road map for peace between Israel and Palestine. Jordanian King Abdullah, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas also attended the meeting.

Mubarak issued a joint statement following the meeting. "We affirm our position against terror and violence," Mubarak said. "We will continue to fight the scourge of terrorism against humanity and reject the culture of extremist violence in any form or shape, from whatever source or place, regardless of justifications or motives, being fully aware of their danger as a plague that threatens the peace and stability of the whole world.

"We will use all the power of the law to prevent support from reaching illegal organizations, including terrorist groups," he continued.

Bush praised the Arab leaders for their firm stands against terrorism. He said the leaders have not only stated their beliefs, but are backing up their words with actions. The nations have pledged to stop funds from reaching these organizations and to stop arms from getting into the hands of terrorists. The nations pledged to aid the Palestinian Authority in its fight against terror, Bush said.

Mubarak said the Arab countries reaffirmed their support for the Iraqi people as they rebuild their country.

Bush told the leaders the United States is fully committed to providing security in Iraq's cities and rebuilding the neglected infrastructure of Iraq. "I welcome the support of all the nations represented here for these important goals and hope they will contribute to helping the good people of Iraq," he said.

Bush will travel to the Jordanian city of Aqaba for a meeting between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

After that meeting, Bush will travel to Qatar, where he will visit American troops engaged in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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