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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 February, 2005, 18:09 GMT
Bush address: Middle East focus
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 effect change.

Listed below are the relevant excerpts from his speech and, where possible, quotes showing how the countries mentioned reacted to his remarks.

SAUDI ARABIA

President Bush:
"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 future."

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 political participation...

"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 AFP

ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS

President Bush:
"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 Abbas.

"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..."

EGYPT

President Bush:
"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

President Bush:
"Syria still allows its territory, and parts of Lebanon, to be used by terrorists who seek to destroy every chance of peace in the region.

"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."

Syrian reaction:
"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

IRAN

President Bush:
"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."

Iranian reaction:
"Right now too, the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic are subjected to attacks by global tyrants, because they support the oppressed and confront the oppressors. In a real, but non-military war, they [the oppressors] are trying to take away, by any possible means, the will for progress and innovation from the talented Iranian nation and destroy its liveliness.

"However, the Iranian nation is not only standing against global bullies, but also it has given the belief to the world of Islam that it is possible to confront the [world] arrogance and win."
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Iranian TV

IRAQ

President Bush:
"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 Iraqi people...

"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."




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