The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
May 19, 2004

Global Message

From remarks by President Bush at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, 5/18/04

The world's best hope for lasting security and stability across the Middle East is the establishment of just and free societies.

For the sake of peace, the United States is committed to helping the Palestinian people establish a democratic and viable state of their own. Israel needs a truly responsible partner in achieving peace. The Palestinian people deserve democratic institutions and responsible leaders.

Progress toward this vision creates responsibilities for Israel, the Palestinian people, and Arab nations. Before there can be two states, all parties must renounce violence and fight terror.

Security is the foundation for peace. All parties must embrace democracy and reform and take the necessary steps for peace. The unfolding violence in the Gaza Strip is troubling and underscores the need for all parties to seize every opportunity for peace.

The Palestinian people must reject corrupt and failed leaders, and insist on a leadership committed to reform, progress and peace.

Palestinian leaders must renounce terror and violence that frustrate their aspirations and take so many innocent lives.

By taking these steps, Palestinians will have a fantastic opportunity to build a modern economy and create the institutions and habits of liberty.

The Palestinian people deserve a better future. That future can be achieved through democracy.

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