Bush tells Arab world to end political repression

US PRESIDENT George Bush told the Arab world yesterday to end political repression and the denial of women’s rights saying: “Freedom and peace are within your grasp.”

Ending a five-day trip to the region, Bush called for the release of political prisoners and warned that Iran cannot be allowed develop a nuclear weapon.

“I call on all nations in this region to release their prisoners of conscience, open up their political debate and trust their people to chart their future,” Bush said in a speech to 1,500 policymakers and business leaders in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

He appealed to nations to push back against the negative influence of “spoilers” such as Iran and Syria.

He urged an expansion of women’s rights as: “a matter of morality and of basic math. No nation that cuts off half its population from opportunities will be as productive or prosperous as it could be. Women are a formidable force, as I have seen in my own family and my own administration.”

Hailing democratic advances in countries such as Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush said: “The light of liberty is beginning to shine”.


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