Key quotes from Condoleezza Rice's opening statement as she attends a US Senate confirmation hearing into her nomination as secretary of state:
Ms Rice singled out Iran and North Korea as key areas for attention
September 11, 2001 was a defining moment for our nation and the world. Under the vision and leadership of President Bush, our nation has risen to meet the challenges of our time: fighting tyranny and terror, and securing the blessings of freedom and prosperity for a new generation.
The work that America and our allies have undertaken, and the sacrifices we have made, have been difficult and necessary and right. Now is the time to build on these achievements to make the world safer, and to make the world more free.
We must use American diplomacy to help create a balance of power in the world that favours freedom. And the time for diplomacy is now.
I am humbled by President Bush's confidence in me to undertake the great work of leading American diplomacy at such a moment in history. If confirmed, I will work with members of Congress, from both sides of the aisle, to build a strong bipartisan consensus behind America's foreign policy.
I will seek to strengthen our alliances, to support our friends, and to make the world safer, and better...
'Three great tasks'
America and the free world are once again engaged in a long-term struggle against an ideology of tyranny and terror, and against hatred and hopelessness...
In these momentous times, American diplomacy has three great tasks. First, we will unite the community of democracies in building an international system that is based on our shared values and the rule of law.
Second, we will strengthen the community of democracies to fight the threats to our common security and alleviate the hopelessness that feeds terror.
And third, we will spread freedom and democracy throughout the globe. That is the
mission that President Bush has set for America in the world, and the great mission of American diplomacy today...
Nato and the European Union and our democratic allies in East Asia and around the world will be our strongest partners in this vital work...
We must remain united in insisting that Iran and North Korea abandon their nuclear weapons ambitions, and choose instead the path of peace...
And by standing with the free peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan, we will continue to bring hope to millions, and democracy to a part of the world where it is sorely lacking...
We... were heartened by the refusal of the people of Ukraine to accept a flawed election, and their insistence that their democratic will be honoured. We have watched as the people of the Palestinian Territories turned out to vote in an orderly and fair election.
And soon the people of Iraq will exercise their right to choose their leaders, and set the course of their nation's future....
There remain outposts of tyranny and America stands with oppressed people on every continent... in Cuba, and Burma, and North Korea, and Iran, and Belarus, and Zimbabwe... We cannot rest until every person living in a "fear society" has finally won their freedom.
In the Middle East, President Bush has broken with six decades of excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the hope of purchasing stability at the price of liberty.
The stakes could not be higher. As long as the broader Middle East remains a region of
tyranny and despair and anger, it will produce extremists and movements that threaten the safety of Americans and our friends...
In Iraq, the people will soon take the next step in their journey toward full, genuine democracy. All Iraqis, whatever their faith or ethnicity from Shias to Sunnis to Kurds must build a common future together.
The election later this month will be an important first step as the people of Iraq prepare to draft a constitution and hold the next round of elections that will create a permanent government.
And the establishment of a Palestinian democracy will help to bring an end to the conflict in the holy land... Now we have reached a moment of opportunity and we must seize it. We take great encouragement from the elections just held for a new Palestinian leader...
America seeks justice and dignity and a viable, independent, and democratic state for the Palestinian people. We seek security and peace for the state of Israel. Israel must do its
part to improve the conditions under which Palestinians live and seek to build a better future...
I look forward to personally working with the Palestinian and Israeli leaders, and bringing American diplomacy to bear on this difficult but crucial issue...
Relations with Russia
In Russia, we see that the path to democracy is uneven and that its success is not yet assured. Yet recent history shows that we can work closely with Russia on common problems. And as we do so, we will continue to press the case for democracy, and
we will continue to make clear that the protection of democracy in
Russia is vital to the future of US-Russia relations.
In Asia, we have moved beyond the false assumption that it is impossible to have good relations with all of Asia's powers. Our Asian alliances have never been stronger and we will use that strength to help secure the peace and prosperity of the region.
'Candid' with China
Japan, South Korea, and Australia are key partners in our efforts to deter common threats and spur economic growth.
We are building a candid, co-operative and constructive relationship with China that
embraces our common interests but still recognises our considerable differences about values....
'Conversation' with the world'
We also must realise that America and all free nations are facing a generational struggle against a new and deadly ideology of hatred that we cannot ignore. We need to do much more to confront hateful propaganda, dispel dangerous myths, and get out the truth.
We will increase our exchanges with the rest of the world. And Americans should make a serious effort to understand other cultures and learn foreign languages.
Our interaction with the rest of the world must be a conversation, not a monologue...
If our public diplomacy efforts are to succeed, we cannot close ourselves off from the
world. And if I am confirmed, public diplomacy will be a top priority for me and for the professionals I lead.