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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
May 23, 2005

Mrs. Bush's Remarks to the Press in Egypt
Giza Plateau, Egypt

6:54 P.M. (Local)

Q Mrs. Bush, please, one question for the Egyptian television. What's the message you want to address for women in societies that you have just visited?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I've had really wonderful visits in Jordan, of course, and then in the Palestinian Territory and in Jerusalem. And then today with Mrs. Mubarak and a group of professional Egyptian women, very distinguished women.

And one thing that I know about all of them is all of them are interested in peace, but they also know that women need to be part of civil society, that societies prosper when women are educated. And this afternoon we visited the Girl Friendly School, and those little girls were being educated. And it was really very exciting to be with them.

So I think women around the world stand in solidarity with each other, and we know how important a woman's role is to each country. And I think -- I can certainly see that here in Egypt with the women that I've met.

Q Mrs. Bush, a big focus of the Bush administration has been spreading democracy around the world. President Mubarak has called for new elections this year but essentially rigged the process so a lot of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and other pro-democratic groups cannot participate. Does that --

MRS. BUSH: I would say that President Mubarak has taken a very bold step. He's taking the first step to open up the elections, and I think that's very, very important. As you know, every -- you have to be slow as you do each of these steps. When you look at our country and see how long it took in our country, we had a great document but we still had slavery for 100 years after our founding. You know that each step is a small step, that you can't be quick. It's not always really wise to be, but I'm very, very happy with the idea of an election here in -- a presidential election, and I think he's been very bold and wise to take the first step.

END 6:57 P.M. (Local)

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