- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 19, 2004

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) — President Bush will begin a new effort this week to focus attention on the compassionate side of his foreign policy, promising a vision for “building a better world.”

In his weekly radio address yesterday, Mr. Bush previewed the speech he will deliver Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

“This week, I will speak in New York to the United Nations General Assembly, and I will talk about the great possibilities of our time to improve health, expand prosperity and extend freedom in our world,” Mr. Bush said in the broadcast, aired as he spent the weekend at his family’s seaside home.

He said he will not back down from confronting terrorists, but he blended that message with talk of humanitarian causes.

“Our country is determined to spread hope and economic progress and freedom as the alternatives to hatreds, resentments and terrorist violence,” the president said. “In hopeful societies, men and women are far less likely to embrace murderous ideologies.”

Mr. Bush offered several of his long-standing goals as examples. They included combating AIDS in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia with a proposed $15 billion in U.S. spending, helping lift up poor nations by attaching strings to foreign aid and lending a hand in education and farming in Africa.

“Never in the history of the United Nations have we faced so many opportunities to create a safer world by building a better world,” Mr. Bush said. “For the sake of our common security, and for the sake of our common values, the international community must rise to this historic moment. And the United States is prepared to lead.”

Mr. Bush’s 2003 speech at the United Nations came six months after he launched the Iraq war, and the president devoted almost all of his address to terrorism and Iraq. Aides billed the radio address as a preview of this year’s U.N. speech, and it mentioned the words “Iraq” or “Iraqi” just three times.

Mr. Bush will play host to Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi at the White House this week after two days of heavy diplomacy at the United Nations. Mr. Allawi also will address Congress.

“I’m looking forward to the American people hearing him,” Mr. Bush said at a rally Friday in Charlotte, N.C. “It’s important that we hear from someone there on the ground who believes that people want to be free, [who] believes that the people of Iraq really want to be free.”

Mr. Bush will sit down with Mr. Allawi in the White House on Thursday, to be followed by questions from reporters. Mr. Bush has not answered questions publicly since he talked to reporters at his Texas ranch on Aug. 23.

At the annual General Assembly opening session, Mr. Bush meets Tuesday with Mr. Allawi, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. On Wednesday, he confers with President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan.

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