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The 'Freedom Agenda' of U.S. Foreign Policy

What Bush Said: President Bush said his foreign policy is "based on a clear premise: We trust that people, when given the chance, will choose a future of freedom and peace." He has often spoken about what he calls his "freedom agenda." He pointed to elections in Georgia, Ukraine, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. He does not mention, however, one vote that sorely tested the "freedom agenda" — when Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization, won elections in the Palestinian territories two years ago.

Analysis: The president has been toning down his criticism of key Arab allies. When he met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and other leaders during a recent swing through the Middle East, Bush did not openly criticize anyone's rule. Rather, he gently nudged for reforms and talked about the long-term, rather than the near term.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Michele Kelemen has been with NPR for two decades, starting as NPR's Moscow bureau chief and now covering the State Department and Washington's diplomatic corps. Her reports can be heard on all NPR News programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.