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President Says U.S. Standing With Moderates, Reformers

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2006 – Civilized nations working together can defeat terrorism and help people of the Middle East build democratic societies, President Bush said yesterday in his weekly radio address to the nation.

“All civilized nations, especially those in the Muslim world, are bound together in this struggle between moderation and extremism,” Bush said. “By working together, we will roll back this grave threat to our way of life, we will help the people of the Middle East claim their freedom, and we will leave a safer and more hopeful world for our children and grandchildren.”

Earlier this week, Bush told the United Nations’ General Assembly that a more hopeful world is within reach.

“I said that every nation must make a choice. We can support the moderates and the reformers working for change across the broader Middle East, or we can yield the future to the terrorists and extremists,” he said in his radio address. “America has made its choice. We’re standing with the moderates and reformers.”

After his speech at the U.N., he talked with Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani and the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas, Bush said.

Bush said he pledged continued support to Iraq’s democratic government as it shapes its future as a free country. He also assured Talabani that the United States would not abandon the Iraqi people as they work to defeat terrorists and build a free society in the heart of the Middle East.

Bush said he and Abbas share the same goal of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, existing peacefully side by side.

“By supporting moderate leaders such as President Abbas, the United States can help Israelis and Palestinians build a more hopeful future and achieve the peace we all want in the Holy Land,” he added.

The president went on to say he will be meeting with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf in the coming week. These two leaders also are working to defeat terrorism and extremism, he said.

“President Musharraf understands the stakes in the war on terror because the extremists have tried more than once to assassinate him. They know he’s a threat to their aspirations,” Bush said. “It is in America’s interest to help him succeed.”

America and its allies will continue to stand with Afghanistan as it defends its democratic gains, Bush said. Forces from more than 40 countries and NATO are serving in Afghanistan to keep the country moving in the right direction.

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