Bush Applauds Israeli Disengagement During Speech to Veterans
(August 22, 2005)
Excerpted from President Bush's speech at the National Convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars:
“In the heart of the Middle East a hopeful story is unfolding. After decades of shattered promises and stolen lives, peace is within reach in the Holy Land. The Palestinian people have expressed their desire for sovereignty and peace in free and fair elections. President Abbas has rejected violence and taken steps toward democratic reform. This past week, Prime Minister Sharon and the Israeli people took a courageous and painful step by beginning to remove settlements in Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank. The Israeli disengagement is an historic step that reflects the bold leadership of Prime Minister Sharon. Both Israelis and Palestinians have elected governments committed to peace and progress, and the way forward is clear. We're working for a return to the road map. We're helping the Palestinians to prepare for self-government and to defeat terrorists who attack Israel, and terrorists who oppose the establishment of a peaceful Palestinian state. We're providing $50 million in direct assistance to the Palestinians for new housing and infrastructure projects in Gaza. We remain fully committed to defending the security and well-being of our friend and ally, Israel, and we demand an end to terrorism and violence in every form, because we know that progress toward peace depends on an end to terror.
We'll continue working for the day when the map of the Middle East shows two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.”
Source: The White House