|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
March 11, 2005
From remarks prepared for delivery by Secretary of State Rice, 3/9/05
America has made unprecedented efforts since September 11, 2001 with allies and friends around the world to defeat terrorism.
There has been significant progress in confronting the enemy abroad. Many of al-Qaida's top commanders have been removes; we've cut off terrorist finances; and we have put pressure on states that sponsor or harbor terrorists, or seek to proliferate weapons of mass destruction.
In the long term the only force powerful enough to stop the rise of tyranny and terror - and replace hatred with hope - is the force of human freedom.
President Bush and his counterparts not only turned the page on Iraq, they wrote a new chapter. All 26 NATO allies are now contributing to the NATO Training Mission in Iraq.
At the request of the new Iraqi government, the European Union announced its willingness to co-host with the United States an international conference to encourage and coordinate international support for Iraq.
America and our European allies must put the power of our partnership to work to meet the challenges of a changing world - particularly in the Broader Middle East and North Africa.
It is critical that political pluralism, economic openness, and the growth of civil society are encouraged. They will help shape a stable and prosperous future for the strategically important region.
The path of 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.