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Bush urges nations to join antiterrorism fight

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush urged all nations Saturday to abide by a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at crushing terrorism -- or risk being targets themselves.

"Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, adopted soon after the September 11 attack, every nation must crack down on terrorist financing," Bush said in his weekly taped radio address. "Every nation that possesses useful intelligence about terrorism must share it. Every nation must close down terrorist camps inside its borders. Every nation must deny weapons to terrorists."

Bush delivered a similar message Saturday morning to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

In the radio address, Bush pointed to the significance of Wednesday's move by the United States and its allies to freeze financial assets of two networks linked to al Qaeda, the group headed by suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. The United States blames bin Laden, an exiled Saudi millionaire, of masterminding the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

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"We are taking aggressive measures to starve terrorists of their funding," Bush said.

Bush, who met during the week with leaders of other nations who support the U.S.-led fight against terrorism, warned "all civilized nations are threatened by terrorism, and all civilized nations have a responsibility to join in fighting it."

"We expect nations to oppose all terrorists, not just some of them," Bush said. "No political cause can justify the deliberate murder of civilians. Any government that tries to pick and choose its terrorist friends will be regarded by us as a supporter of terrorism."

Nations can better fight terrorism by promoting development, expanding trade, investing in education and combating infectious diseases such as AIDS, Bush noted.

"In our struggle against hateful groups that exploit poverty and despair, we must offer an alternative of opportunity and hope," he said.

Bush also said nations should not use the fight against terrorism as an excuse to persecute minorities.

"When the avenues of peaceful dissent are closed, the temptation to speak through violence grows," he said.


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