Bush: ‘New hope’ in Holy Land

President Bush described “new cause for hope” in the Holy Land in his State of the Union speech.

“We’re also standing against the forces of extremism in the Holy Land, where we have new cause for hope,” Bush said Monday night, referring to renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

“Palestinians have elected a president who recognizes that confronting terror is essential to achieving a state where his people can live in dignity and at peace with Israel,” Bush said. “Israelis have leaders who recognize that a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state will be a source of lasting security.”

Bush described his recent visit to the region, his first in seven years as president.

“This month in Ramallah and Jerusalem I assured leaders from both sides that America will do, and I will do, everything we can to help them achieve a peace agreement that defines a Palestinian state by the end of this year,” he said. “The time has come for a Holy Land where a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine live side by side in peace.”

Bush also repeated his call to Iran to make its nuclear programs transparent.

“Above all, know this,” he said, addressing Iran’s leaders: “America will confront those who threaten our troops, we will stand by our allies, and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf.”

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