President George Bush is urging his successor and other U.S. leaders to
continue what he calls his "freedom agenda" of promoting human rights
around the world.
In a speech Thursday in Washington, Mr. Bush said combating rights
abuses and hopelessness in struggling nations is a vital U.S. interest.
He said America's enemies exploit distress and despair to recruit
people to their cause.
Mr. Bush said future U.S. leaders must keep helping people in those
nations achieve freedom from the scourges of corruption, disease,
poverty, hunger and tyranny. He said promoting free trade is key to
fighting poverty and building prosperous societies.
Mr. Bush said that in the past seven years, his administration has
criticized human rights abuses by what he calls "tyrannical regimes" in
Iran, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe. He said Washington also has spoken
candidly about human rights with friendlier nations such as Egypt,
Saudi Arabia and China.