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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 20, 2002

Radio Address by the President to the Nation

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week Secretary of State Colin Powell returned from the Middle East and reported on his intensive and productive meetings.

In this region, we are confronting hatred that is centuries old, and disputes that have lingered for decades. Yet, America has a vision for peace, and by calling all the leaders of the Middle East to their responsibilities, Secretary Powell made progress toward peace.

To defuse the current crisis the Palestinian Authority must act on its words of condemnation against terror. Israel must continue its withdrawals. All Arab nations must confront terror in their own region. All parties must stop funding or inciting terror, and must state clearly that a murderer is not a martyr; he or she is just a murderer.

All parties must realize that the only long-term solution is for two states -- Israel and Palestine -- to live side by side in security and peace. This will require hard choices and real leadership by Israelis and Palestinians, and their Arab neighbors.

The time is now for all of us to make the choice for peace. America will continue to work toward this vision of peace in the Middle East, and America continues to press forward in our war against global terror. We will use every available tool to tighten the noose around the terrorists and their supporters. And when it comes to the threat of terror, the only path to safety is the path of action.

In the days just after September the 11th, I told the American people our war against terrorism would be a different war, fought on many fronts. And we are making progress on many fronts. Yesterday the United States and the world's other leading industrialized nations blocked the financial assets of another 10 terrorists and terrorist organizations. This joint action among close allies is an important step in choking off the financial pipeline that pays for terrorist training and attacks.

A total of 161 nations around the world have joined together to block more than $100 million of suspected terrorist assets. The United States also continues to work with our friends and allies around the world to round up individual terrorists, such as Abu Zubaydah, a top al Qaeda leader captured in Pakistan. From Spain to Singapore, our partners are breaking up terrorist cells and disrupting their plans. Altogether, more than 1,600 terrorists and their supporters have been arrested or detained in 95 foreign nations.

In Afghanistan, the United States and its partners are pressing forward with a military campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban. More than a dozen of our NATO allies are contributing forces to this fight. Right now, hundreds of Royal Marines from Great Britain are leading an operation to clear and seal off regions where our enemies are trying to regroup to commit murder and mayhem, and to undermine Afghanistan's efforts to build a lasting peace.

And we're working with nations such as Yemen, the Philippines and Georgia that seek our help in training and equipping their military forces to fight terror in some of the world's distant corners.

We're making progress. Yet nothing about this war will be quick or easy. We face dangers and sacrifices ahead. America is ready; the morale of our military is high; the will of our people is strong. We are determined, we are steadfast, and we will continue for as long as it takes, until the mission is done.

Thank you for listening.