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For Immediate Release
February 17, 2005
From prepared remarks by Secretary of State Rice before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 2/16/05
Unprecedented efforts have been undertaken since September 11, 2001 with allies and friends around the world to defeat terrorism.
There's been significant progress in confronting the enemy abroad, removing many of al-Qaida's top commanders, cutting off terrorist financing, and putting pressure on states that sponsor or harbor terrorists or seek to proliferate weapons of mass destruction.
The only force powerful enough to stop the rise of tyranny and terror, and replace hatred with hope, is the force of human freedom.
America and her European allies must use the power of partnership to meet the challenges of a changing world - particularly in the Broader Middle East and North Africa.
Efforts to encourage political pluralism, economic openness and the growth of civil society are critical to the future of the region.
The path of democratic reform in the Middle East will be difficult and uneven. The spread of freedom is the work of generations, but it is also urgent work that cannot be deferred.
From Morocco to Jordan to Bahrain, we are seeing elections and new protections for women and minorities, and the beginnings of political pluralism.
European leaders understand our common interest in building on recent successes and stabilizing and advancing democratic progress in Afghanistan and Iraq.
European leaders agree that it is time to close the book on past differences over Iraq. It is time for all of us to help the Iraqi people write a new book - the history of a democratic Iraq.
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