President Bush Salutes Leaders of Democracy in Kiev

KIEV, Ukraine -- Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, the head of the U.S. delegation to the Forum of the Community of Democratic Choice in Kiev, Ukraine, yesterday shared greetings from U.S. President Bush with her fellow delegates:

I send greetings to those gathered for the Forum of the Community of Democratic Choice in Kiev, Ukraine.

Across the world, hearts and minds are opening to the message of human liberty. The past four decades have seen the swiftest advance of freedom in history, proving that the desire for justice, freedom, human rights, and accountable, representative government is universal.

The anniversary of the Orange Revolution was a powerful example of democracy for people around the world. When hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens stood up to defend democracy in their homeland, they showed that the love of liberty is stronger than the will of tyranny.

The work of democracy requires building and sustaining the institutions that support freedom. Democracies may look different from country to country, but all democratic nations must uphold the rule of law, limit the power of the state, and respect the rights of all citizens. Nations grow in strength not through conquest, but by allowing the talents and gifts of their people to flourish.

I appreciate the participants in the inaugural conference and all those who are working for the cause of freedom in the Baltic, Black Sea, and Caspian regions, and around the world. I also appreciated the strong leadership of President Yushchenko and President Saakashvili. Your efforts are an inspiration to all who love liberty.

America will stand with you as you continue to advance democracy and security and build a free future for your children and grandchildren. Together, we will send a message of hope that freedom will be the future for all nations and all people.

Laura and I send our best wishes for a successful meeting.

Signed: George W. Bush

Source: Public Affairs Section, US Embassy Kiev