Bush Lectures to the Arab World

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WASHINGTON - It's back to the domestic agenda for President Bush following a five-day trip to the Middle East. But his last address there is still reverberating across the Arab world and beyond.

The President called on Arab governments to confront terror and those who sponsor terrorist organizations.

"Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas will be defeated, as Muslims across the region recognize the emptiness of the terrorists' vision and the injustice of their cause," Bush said.

His harshest criticism was reserved for Iran, saying it would be "a betrayal of future generations" to allow the country to obtain nuclear weapons."

Promoting progress in the region, he pushed for political and economic reforms, advocating a greater role for women.

The President also warned them to prepare for the day when their wealthy oil industries dry up both because they're running out of oil, and because big consumer markets like the U.S are starting to develop other sources of energy.

"Our problem in America gets solved if we expand our refining capacity, promote nuclear energy and continue our strategy for the advancements of alternative energies as well as conservation," the President said.

On the roadmap to peace, Bush remained upbeat, repeating his commitment to establishing a Palestinian state beside Israel.

"I firmly believe that with leadership and courage we can reach that peace agreement this year," he said.

But not soon after his remarks, a new audio tape of Osama bin Laden surfaced.

In it he called Arab leaders, "agents of the crusaders" and called on militants to fight against those who support Israel, directly or indirectly.

It serves as yet another reminder that terrorism is still a serious threat in the Middle East and beyond.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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