The White House said today (Tuesday, Jan. 25) President George
W. Bush will request an unspecified amount of money from Congress to further the Israeli-Palestinian peace
process when he submits his supplemental budget proposal.
The request will be part of a package that also will include additional operating expenses for U.S. activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bush described as "important priorities of American foreign policy" such goals as "helping the Palestinian people build a democratic state, improving the economic and humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people, and bridging differences between Israelis and Palestinians."
With the bulk of the money sought in the supplemental budget request to go to U.S. operations in Iraq, Bush declared:
When we decided to protect America from a gathering threat by removing Saddam Hussein from power, I made two fundamental pledges: First, our troops will have whatever they need to protect themselves and complete their mission; and second, the United States will stand with the Iraqi people and against the terrorists trying desperately to block democracy and the advance of human rights.
This supplemental budget request will fulfill these important pledges and again makes clear to terrorists that our resolve is firm and we will complete our mission.
Most of these funds will support American troops on the ground by continuing to provide them with the equipment and other supplies they need. The request also provides for the continued pursuit of al-Qaida and other terrorist elements in Afghanistan and elsewhere, while supporting the great progress Afghanistan has made toward joining the community of free nations. And resources are included to accelerate efforts to train and equip Iraqi and Afghan forces, so they can assume greater responsibility for their own security.