At a meeting this month in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, representatives of the Organization of the Islamic Conference endorsed an Arab League initiative to promote national dialogue in Iraq. The Conference also condemned terrorist violence directed against the Iraqi people.
President George W. Bush says "More Arab states are beginning to recognize that a free Iraq is here to stay":
"They're starting to give Iraq's new government more support. Recently, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan have welcomed the Iraqi prime minister on official visits.... These are important steps, and Iraq's neighbors need to do more. Arab leaders are beginning to recognize that the choice in Iraq is between democracy and terrorism, and there is no middle ground. The success of Iraqi democracy is in their vital interests because if the terrorists prevail in Iraq, they will then target other Arab nations."
Mr. Bush says that support for Iraq's emerging democracy is coming from outside the region as well:
"Other nations have pledged more than thirteen-billion dollars in assistance to Iraq.... The World Bank recently approved its first loan to Iraq in over thirty years, lending the Iraqi government one-hundred-million dollars to improve the Iraqi school system.... And at the request of the Iraqi government, the U-N Security Council unanimously approved a resolution extending the mandate of the multinational force in Iraq through 2006. Earlier this year, the European Union co-hosted a conference for more than eighty countries and international organizations, so they can better coordinate their efforts to help Iraqis rebuild their nation."
"The Iraqi people are stepping forward to claim their liberty,' says Mr. Bush, "and they will have it."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.