The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
August 24, 2006

February 28, 2003

Global Message

Key Points from the President's Remarks on Iraq and the Middle East, 2-26-03

  • The danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons cannot be ignored or wished away. We hope the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the UN and disarm, fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force.

  • Acting against this danger will also contribute greatly to the long term safety and stability of the Middle East and the world.

  • The first to benefit from a free Iraq would be the Iraqi people themselves. Their lives and freedom matter little to Saddam Hussein, but matter greatly to us. If we must use force, the United States and our allies stand ready to help the citizens of a liberated Iraq.

  • Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many nations, including our own: We will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more. The nation of Iraq - with its proud heritage, abundant resources, and skilled, educated people - is fully capable of achieving democracy and living in freedom.

  • Success in Iraq will deprive terrorist networks of a wealthy patron that pays for terrorist training, and other regimes will be given clear warning that support for terror will not be tolerated.

  • The United States and other countries continue to work on a roadmap for peace. Success in Iraq could begin a new stage for Middle East peace, and set in motion progress towards a truly democratic Palestine.

  • A Palestinian state must be reformed and peaceful and abandon forever the use of terror.

  • For its part, the new government of Israel - as security improves - will be expected to support the creation of a Palestinian state and work toward a final status agreement, and settlement activity must end.

  • And the Arab states will be expected to meet their responsibilities to oppose terrorism, support the emergence of a peaceful and democratic Palestine, and state clearly that they will live in peace with Israel.
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