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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 09:47 GMT
Excerpts: State of the Union address
US President George W Bush. Jan 25
George W Bush: "Al-Qaeda is on the run in Iraq"
US President George W Bush has delivered his final State of the Union address before he leaves office in January 2009.

Below are excerpts from Mr Bush's text, described by the White House as "very forward-looking".

ON THE ECONOMY

"To build a prosperous future, we must trust people with their own money and empower them to grow our economy.

As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. And at kitchen tables across our country, there is concern about our economic future.

In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth."

ON IRAQ

"The advance of liberty is opposed by terrorists and extremists - evil men who despise freedom, despise America and aim to subject millions to their violent rule.

The Iraqi people quickly realised that something dramatic had happened. Those who had worried that America was preparing to abandon them instead saw our forces moving into neighbourhoods, clearing out the terrorists and staying behind to ensure the enemy did not return.

While the enemy is still dangerous and more work remains, the American and Iraqi surges have achieved results few of us could have imagined just one year ago.

Some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt. Al-Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated."

ON IRAN

"Our message to the people of Iran is clear: we have no quarrel with you, we respect your traditions and your history, and we look forward to the day when you have your freedom.

Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear: verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment so negotiations can begin. And to rejoin the community of nations, come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions, stop your oppression at home and cease your support for terror abroad.

But above all, know this: America will confront those who threaten our troops, we will stand by our allies and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf."

ON IMMIGRATION

"America needs to secure our borders, and with your help, my administration is taking steps to do so.

We're increasing worksite enforcement, deploying fences and advanced technologies to stop illegal crossings. We've effectively ended the policy of "catch and release" at the border, and by the end of this year, we will have doubled the number of border patrol agents.

Yet we also need to acknowledge that we will never fully secure our border until we create a lawful way for foreign workers to come here and support our economy. This will take pressure off the border and allow law enforcement to concentrate on those who mean us harm.

We must also find a sensible and humane way to deal with people here illegally. Illegal immigration is complicated, but it can be resolved. And it must be resolved in a way that upholds both our laws and our highest ideals."

ON CLIMATE CHANGE

"Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources.

And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases.

This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride."

ON TRADE

"We must trust American workers to compete with anyone in the world and empower them by opening up new markets overseas.

Today, our economic growth increasingly depends on our ability to sell American goods, crops and services all over the world.

These agreements will level the playing field. They will give us better access to nearly 100 million customers. And they will support good jobs for the finest workers in the world: those whose products say 'Made in the USA'."

ON CONGRESS

"The actions of the 110th Congress will affect the security and prosperity of our nation long after this session has ended.

In this election year, let us show our fellow Americans that we recognise our responsibilities and are determined to meet them. And let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and co-operate for results at the same time.

But clearly lessons can always be learned from every single investigation."

ON EDUCATION

"We must trust students to learn if given the chance and empower parents to demand results from our schools.

In neighbourhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams - and a decent education is their only hope of achieving them.

Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and today no-one can deny its results.

Now we must work together to increase accountability, add flexibility for states and districts, reduce the number of high school dropouts, and provide extra help for struggling schools."

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Bush delivers his final State of the Union address





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