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THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. It's been a week of international progress in the war against terror. On Wednesday, our friends and allies around the world joined the U.S. Treasury to freeze the assets of two terrorist supporting financial networks, one known as Al Barakaat and the other as Al Taqwa. We are taking aggressive measures to starve terrorists of their funding.
Throughout the week I have been meeting at the White House with world leaders who support our cause. At the beginning of the week, I spoke via satellite to leaders of new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. Earlier today, I addressed leaders from around the world at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
To every leader, I have delivered a consistent message: all civilized nations are threatened by terrorism, and all civilized nations have a responsibility to join in fighting it. The United States is grateful for the words of sympathy we have received from nations around the world since September the 11th.
Now the time for words has passed. And now the time for action has arrived. Some actions are already required by international law. Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, adopted soon after the September the 11th attack, every nation must crack down on terrorist financing. Every nation that possesses useful intelligence about terrorism must share it. Every nation must close down terrorist camps inside its boarders. Every nation must deny weapons to terrorists.
These obligations are binding on every country, and many nations are meeting those obligations. Yet, we expect even more of the countries that wish to be counted as members of the global coalition against terror. We expect nations to oppose all terrorists, not just some of them. No political cause can justify the deliberate murder of civilians.
There is no such thing as a good terrorist. Any government that tries to pick and choose its terrorist friends will be regarded by us as a supporter of terrorism. We expect nations to speak the truth about terror. They shouldn't encourage malicious lies and outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th. No government should promote the propaganda of terrorists. We expect nations not to misuse the war against terror as an excuse to persecute ethnic and religious minorities in any country. When avenues for peaceful dissent are closed, the temptation to speak through violence grows. We expect nations to encourage development by expanding trade, investing in education and combatting AIDS and other infectious diseases around the world.
In our struggle against hateful groups that exploit poverty and despair, we must offer an alternative of opportunity and hope. These are some of the steps I've described today at the United Nations. For all nations, they will require effort. For some nations, they will require courage. Yet, the cost of inaction is far higher. The only alternative to victory is a future of terror. So we will fight for victory.
We are determined to defend ourselves, and defend our children from lawless violence. Thank you for listening.
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