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Bush Seeks U.N. Support for Spreading Democracy

Bush Seeks U.N. Support for Spreading Democracy

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Before skeptical and silent world leaders, President Bush on Wednesday urged compassion for the needy and pressed the global community to "put the terrorists on notice" by cracking down on any activities that could incite deadly attacks.

Bush, addressing more than 160 presidents, prime ministers and kings gathered for three days of U.N. General Assembly meetings, was seeking to sell his blueprints for spreading democracy in Iraq and elsewhere, overhauling the United Nations and expanding trade.

"The terrorists must know that wherever they go they cannot escape justice," Bush said to world leaders. Those gathered before him -- including many who harbor lingering bitterness about the U.S.-led war in Iraq -- sat silently throughout the speech. But this audience traditionally doesn't interrupt a speaker with applause anyhow.

Bush pressed for Security Council approval of a resolution calling upon all nations to take steps to end the incitement of terrorist acts and asked nations to agree to prosecute and to extradite anyone seeking radioactive materials or nuclear devices.

"We must send a clear message to the rulers of outlaw regimes that sponsor terror and pursue weapons of mass murder: You will not be allowed to threaten the peace and stability of the world," Bush said. "Confronting our enemies is essential, and so civilized nations will continue to take the fight to the terrorists."

Bush urged the elimination of agricultural tariffs and other barriers that he said distort trade and stunt development. The goal, he said, is to open markets for farmers around the world.

"Today I broaden the challenge by making this pledge: the United States is ready to eliminate tariffs, subsidies and other barriers to free flow of goods and services as other nations do the same," Bush said. "It's the key to overcoming poverty in the world's poorest nations. It's essential we promote prosperity and opportunity for all nations. By expanding trade we spread hope and opportunity to the corners of the world and we strike a blow against the terrorists who feed on anger and resentment."

Bush gave his annual speech to a packed hall in which there is dissatisfaction that the American president does not support an international treaty on global warming and has not promised to donate foreign aid at a level more proportionate to other rich nations.

But Bush tried to impress upon his audience the urgency of addressing the world's problems as he sees them.

He asked world leaders to partner in his second-term pledge to spread democracy, even in unlikely or unreceptive places, and touted U.S. efforts to battle AIDS in Africa and prevent a bird flu pandemic.

Seeking broader support for U.S. engagement in Iraq, Bush said the whole world has a stake in fostering democracy there. "The U.N. and its member states must continue to stand by the Iraqi people as they continue their journey," he said.

"It's an exciting opportunity for all of us in this chamber," he told an assembly of nations, many of whom had bitterly opposed the U.S. decision to go to war.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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