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9/25/04 - PRESIDENT BUSH AT THE U-N - 2004-09-27

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, President George W. Bush encouraged the world's nations to extend the reach of freedom:

“For decades the circle of liberty and security and development has been expanding in our world. This progress has brought unity to Europe, self-government to Latin America and Asia, and new hope to Africa. Now we have the historic chance to widen the circle even further, to fight radicalism and terror with justice and dignity, to achieve a true peace, founded on human freedom."

Mr. Bush said that for too long the United States and other nations excused oppression in the name of stability, particularly in the Middle East:

“Oppression became common, but stability never arrived. We must take a different approach. We must help the reformers of the Middle East as they work for freedom and strive to build a community of peaceful, democratic nations.”

Two nations on the difficult journey from dictatorship to democracy, said Mr. Bush, are Afghanistan and Iraq:

“More than ten-million Afghan citizens, over four-million of them women, are now registered to vote in next month's presidential election. To any who still would question whether Muslim societies can be democratic societies, the Afghan people are giving their answer. Since the last meeting of this General Assembly, the people of Iraq have regained sovereignty. . . . The government of Prime Minister [Iyad] Allawi has earned the support of every nation that believes in self-determination and desires peace.”

According to President Bush, every nation that seeks peace has an obligation to help build a freer world. “There is,” he said, “no safety in looking away, seeking the quiet life by ignoring the struggles and oppression of others.”