For Immediate Release
December 7, 2004
From remarks by President Bush with Iraqi Interim Government President Al-Yawer, 12/6/04
President Bush is grateful to Iraqi President Al-Yawer for his courage and vision for a united and free Iraq.
It is necessary for the Iraqi people to vote on January 30th because it provides them an opportunity to participate in democracy.
Iraqi elections will send a clear message to those there who are trying to stop the march to democracy that they can not stop the elections. Iraqi people will have a chance to become invested in the future of that vital country.
When people are allowed to vote and express their will, peaceful societies emerge. President Bush is confident that the process that has been set up by the international community to allow the people of Iraq to express their will is a major step in democracy in the greater Middle East.
The Iraqi people have the capacity and desire to self-govern. These elections will be a very important moment in the advance of democracy.
Democracy does not happen overnight. It is an evolutionary process that takes time to take hold. Iraq is taking its first major step by allowing people express their beliefs and opinions.
Success in Iraq will breed success elsewhere. It is very possible for there to be a Palestinian state with the institutions of democracy and leadership that will listen to the demands of the Palestinian people. When such a state takes place, it will make peace much more possible with the Israelis.