Bush to push freedom in Mideast

May 17, 2008 at 10:10 AM
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SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt, May 17 (UPI) -- U.S. President George W. Bush Saturday said he would urge Mideast leaders to "move past old grievances" and work toward "justice, tolerance and freedom."

Bush, speaking from Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, used his weekly radio address to recap his trip with first lady Laura Bush to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

He alluded to, but did not specifically repeat, a controversial remark he made Thursday during an address to Israeli leaders when he compared U.S. politicians to pre-World War II Nazi appeasers.

"I reaffirmed the principles that make our alliance strong: a love of liberty, a devotion to justice, and a respect for human dignity," Bush said. "And I said that standing firm on these ideals is the surest way to defeat the extremists and build a future of peace for people throughout the Middle East."

Bush said he had engaged in "a series of productive meetings" with Saudi King Abdullah. Saudi officials said Friday that oil production in the country was being increased by 300,000 barrels a day to meet its customers' demands.

Bush said he would use his appearance at the World Economic Forum to promote political and economic freedom.

"And I will urge leaders across the region to … move past old grievances and embrace the changes necessary for a day when societies across the Middle East are based on justice, tolerance, and freedom."

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