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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 9, 2003

Fact Sheet
Proposed Middle East Initiatives

Promoting Economic Growth

"Across the globe, free markets and trade have helped defeat poverty, and taught men and women the habits of liberty. So I propose the establishment of a U.S.-Middle East free trade area within a decade, to bring the Middle East into an expanding circle of opportunity, to provide hope for the people who live in that region."

President Bush
May 9, 2003

To re-ignite economic growth and expand opportunity in the Middle East, the President outlined proposals to:

Establish a U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area within a decade. Building on our free trade agreements (FTAs) with Israel and Jordan, the United States will take a series of graduated steps:

Work with our partners in the region to:

Promoting Education and Knowledge

"Making the most of economic opportunities will require broader and better education, especially among women who have faced the greatest disadvantages."

President Bush
May 9, 2003

The President outlined proposals to:

Grow our successful partnership with Morocco and Yemen to expand their girls' and women's literacy programs to other interested countries. Partner with countries to help empower parents and local communities to give them a greater voice in how their children are educated. Expand a successful program in Alexandria, Egypt, to other Egyptian cities and other interested countries in the region. Partner with countries to provide incentives, such as vouchers, to families that send their girls to school, building on successful programs in Morocco and Egypt.

Promoting Freedom and Justice

"The history of the modern world offers a lesson for the skeptics: do not bet against the success of freedom. Freedom has advanced because the desire for liberty and justice is found in every human heart. And the men and women of the Muslim world, one-fifth of all humanity, share this hope of liberty."

President Bush
May 9, 2003

The United States proposes to work with partners in the region to:

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