กก WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- US President George W. Bush on Friday reiterated the importance of the upcoming Iraqi elections, which, he said, will be an example to reforms of the Middle East.
Addressing an official swearing-in of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, Bush said that Jan. 30 election will be "the first step in a process that will allow Iraqis to write and pass aconstitution that enshrines self-government and the rule of law.
"This history is changing the world because the advent of democracy in Iraq will serve as a powerful example to reformers throughout the entire Middle East."
On challenges the United States is facing, Bush said that Washington must stop the proliferation of dangerous weapons and materials, safeguard and expand the freedom of the international marketplace and free trade, advance justice and fundamental human rights, fight HIV/AIDS, and reduce poverty.
Bush also pledged to have good relations with nations around the world, because "no nation can build a safer and better world alone."
Rice, the first black woman secretary of state in American history, vowed "to make the world safer and even more free."
"We must use American diplomacy to help create a balance of power that favors freedom. The time for diplomacy is now," she said.
Rice would travel to Britain, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Israel, the West Bank, Italy, France, Belgium and Luxembourg between Feb. 3 and Feb. 10.
"During the course of her visit, she intends to promote President Bush's vision of democracy and freedom as the keys to peace and prosperity," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. Enditem