President Bush has hailed the recent elections in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and Ukraine during his annual State of the Union address.
The president was speaking in Washington to both houses of Congress and assorted guests, including a woman who voted in Sunday's Iraqi elections, and a woman who voted in Afghanistan's election late last year.
Mr. Bush said the United States will stand with the allies of freedom to support democratic movements in the Middle East and beyond. He called Iran the world's primary state sponsor of terror, and said the victory of freedom in Iraq would inspire democratic reformers from Damascus to Tehran. He said the goal of a democratic Palestinian state living peacefully next to Israel is "within reach."
On domestic policy, the president said America's economy is the fastest growing of any major industrialized nation, and that it has added more than 2 million jobs in the last year. Mr. Bush challenged Congress to reform the federal government's pension program, Social Security, saying it is headed towards bankruptcy on its current path.
The president proposed a three-year initiative to help organizations keep young people out of gangs, saying the leader of the program will be First Lady Laura Bush.
Leaders of the opposition Democratic Party are delivering a response to the president shortly after his address.