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Khalilzad: U.S. must transform Mideast

Success in Iraq can be achieved through internal reconciliation and the support of other countries, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations told a gathering of fervently Orthodox Jews.In remarks Sunday to Agudath Israel of America’s annual dinner, Zalmay Khalilzad defended President Bush’s policy of transforming the Middle East, comparing it to the effort to rebuild Europe after World War II. He also called for continued vigilance to contain the Iranian nuclear threat, and said the creation of a Palestinian state would benefit both Palestinians and Israelis. Agudah remains a bastion of support for the Bush administration in the Jewish community. While polls show that most American Jews oppose the Iraq war, Agudah said Bush deserves great “deference” in his pursuit of the war in light of his moral leadership in the war on terrorism. Speaking before Khalilzad, Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudah’s executive vice president for government and public affairs, said Bush was one of Israel’s greatest friends ever in the White House and deserves “everlasting credit” for his leadership after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.