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Release No: 1265-04
December 08, 2004

Statement from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

"The meeting today with His Excellency Prime Minister Sabah and Minister of Defense Shaykh Jabir Mubarak provided an occasion for us to discuss our strong continuing relationship, and I want to thank the government and the people of Kuwait for their support.


Last April, I was honored to participate in a ceremony recognizing Kuwait as a major non-NATO ally. This was another sign of our countries' close cooperation.


Kuwait is a key coalition partner in the region. We look forward to continuing our close cooperation. The Kuwaiti government has taken steps to block the spread of extremism by freezing terrorist assets and detaining terrorist suspects. This is a crucial component of efforts to make it more difficult for terrorists to conduct operations in Iraq, in the Gulf, and throughout the world.


In Iraq, there are signs of continued progress. Those who threaten freedom will lose.


Last year, a brutal regime fell. Last month, Fallujah, a center of terrorist operations, was returned to the control of the Iraqi people.


In the coming weeks and months, the world will see citizens of one of the oldest civilizations on Earth hold their first ever free and fair elections. The goal is for Iraq to continue along the path toward peace and prosperity, where it will have the potential to become a center of stability in this region, rather than a source of violence and extremism.


The Kuwaiti people are playing an important role in making this possible. I thank them."

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