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US supports Afghan, Iraq democracies: Bush

In his New Year Greetings Message, Bush lauded the US armed forces for advancing the cause of freedom overseas.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2005 11:19 IST

Lauding the "brave men and women" of the American armed forces for advancing the cause of freedom overseas, President George W Bush has said the US will continue to stand behind the young democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The New Year is a time of hope as we reflect on the past and prepare for the future," Bush said in his Greetings Message along with that of the First Lady Laura Bush.

"The great strength of our nation lies in the hearts and souls of the American people. This past year, Americans responded with an outpouring of compassion to help the people of the Gulf Coast region recover from one of the most devastating natural disasters in our nation's history (hurricane Katrina)," he said.

Taking specific note of the developments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush said, "In the past year, we continued our work to spread freedom and peace."

"In 2005, Iraqis three times exercised their right to vote in free elections, and the Afghan people conducted successful parliamentary elections. In the coming year, America will continue to stand beside these young democracies and lay the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren," he said.

"We appreciate the brave men and women in uniform who protect our country and advance freedom around the world. We are grateful to their families for their support and sacrifice, and we pray for all those who have lost loved ones in freedom's cause. Our nation will always remember the heroes who have given their lives to protect us all," the President remarked.

First Published: Dec 31, 2005 11:19 IST