Bush address: Middle East focus (BBC) 02/03/05 13:38 GMT)
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US President George W Bush´s 2005 State of the Union address referred
to several countries in the Middle East where the US is hoping to
Listed below are the relevant excerpts from his speech and, where
possible, quotes showing how the countries mentioned reacted to his
"Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and nine other countries have captured or
detained al-Qaeda terrorists. In the next four years, my
administration will continue to build the coalitions that will defeat
the dangers of our time...
"The government of Saudi Arabia can demonstrate its leadership in the
region by expanding the role of its people in determining their
Saudi Arabian reaction:
"It is strange to utter such criticism as we head towards municipal
elections in a week, and as the kingdom presses ahead with enhancing
"President Bush knows well that the process of reform needs time...
The municipal elections scheduled for next week prove the kingdom is
moving forward with its reform plan but this cannot be determined by
the presidents of other states, even if they are friends whose
friendship we cherish."
Abdul Aziz al-Fayez of the consultative council to French news agency
ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS
"The beginnings of reform and democracy in the Palestinian
territories are now showing the power of freedom to break old
patterns of violence and failure. Tomorrow morning, Secretary of
State Rice departs on a trip that will take her to Israel and the
West Bank for meetings with Prime Minister Sharon and President
"She will discuss with them how we and our friends can help the
Palestinian people end terror and build the institutions of a
peaceful, independent, democratic state. To promote this democracy, I
will ask Congress for $350m (£186m) to support Palestinian political,
economic, and security reforms.
"The goal of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side
by side in peace, is within reach - and America will help them
achieve that goal..."
"The great and proud nation of Egypt, which showed the way toward
peace in the Middle East, can now show the way toward democracy in
the Middle East.
"Syria still allows its territory, and parts of Lebanon, to be used
by terrorists who seek to destroy every chance of peace in the
"You have passed, and we are applying, the Syrian Accountability Act -
and we expect the Syrian government to end all support for terror
and open the door to freedom."
"The threats are old and have always been a part of the declared US
policy towards Syria... Everyone knows that Syria is co-operating in
the area of combating terrorism, but terrorism cannot be defined on a
selective, ideological and political basis...
"Channels of communication between Damascus and Washington are
open... but let us not forget that this ideological discourse on
liberties and democracies is a right discourse for a wrong purpose,
especially since liberties cannot be exported on tanks or planes or
promoted through murder and destruction."
Information Minister Mahdi Dakhlallah on al-Jazeera TV
"Today, Iran remains the world´s primary state sponsor of terror -
pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom
they seek and deserve. We are working with European allies to make
clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium
enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing, and end its
support for terror.
"And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own
liberty, America stands with you."
"Mr Bush has forgotten that the great Iranian people, through the
Islamic revolution 26 years ago, put an end to the dominant influence
and presence of the United States in Iran...
"He has turned a blind eye to realities in the Islamic Republic and
institutionalisation of freedom and democracy in the country,
speaking of a number of things which have nothing to do with the
dynamic society of Iran today and more than everything bring more
disgrace for the US administration."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi to Iranian news agency
"Our generational commitment to the advance of freedom, especially in
the Middle East, is now being tested and honoured in Iraq. That
country is a vital front in the war on terror, which is why the
terrorists have chosen to make a stand there...
"We will succeed because the Iraqi people value their own liberty -
as they showed the world last Sunday. Across Iraq, often at great
risk, millions of citizens went to the polls and elected 275 men and
women to represent them in a new Transitional National Assembly...
"The whole world is seeing that the car bombers and assassins are not
only fighting coalition forces, they are trying to destroy the hopes
of Iraqis, expressed in free elections. And the whole world now knows
that a small group of extremists will not overturn the will of the
"We will increasingly focus our efforts on helping prepare more
capable Iraqi security forces - forces with skilled officers and an
effective command structure. As those forces become more self-reliant
and take on greater security responsibilities, America and its
coalition partners will increasingly be in a supporting role...
"We will not set an artificial timetable for leaving Iraq, because
that would embolden the terrorists and make them believe they can
wait us out.
"We are in Iraq to achieve a result: A country that is democratic,
representative of all its people, at peace with its neighbours, and
able to defend itself. And when that result is achieved, our men and
women serving in Iraq will return home with the honour they have
earned." (© BBC MMV 02/03/05)
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