The U.N. personnel and Iraqi citizens killed in the bombing were in that country on a purely humanitarian mission. Men and women in the targeted building were working on reconstruction, medical care for Iraqis. They were there to help with the distribution of food.
A number have been killed or injured, and to those who suffer, I extend the sympathy of the American people.
A short time ago, I spoke with Ambassador Bremer and directed him to provide all possible assistance to the rescue and recovery effort at the United Nations headquarters. I also spoke to Secretary General Kofi Annan about the personal loss the U.N. has suffered, about the assistance my country has offered, and about the vital work in Iraq that continues.
The terrorists who struck today have again shown their contempt for the innocent. They show their fear of progress and their hatred of peace. They are the enemies of the Iraqi people. They are the enemies of every nation that seeks to help the Iraqi people. By their tactics and their targets, these murderers reveal themselves once more as enemies of the civilized world. Every sign of progress in Iraq adds to the desperation of the terrorists and the remnants of Saddam's brutal regime.
The civilized world will not be intimidated, and these killers will not determine the future of Iraq. The Iraqi people have been liberated from a dictator. Iraq is on an irreversible course toward self-government and peace, and America and our friends in the United Nations will stand with the Iraqi people as they reclaim their nation and their future.
The Iraqi people face a challenge, and they face a choice. The terrorists want to return to the days of torture chambers and mass graves. The Iraqis who want peace and freedom must reject them and fight terror. And the United States and many in the world will be there to help them. All nations in the world face a challenge and a choice. By attempting to spread chaos and fear, the terrorists are testing our will. Across the world, they're finding that our will cannot be shaken. We will persevere through every hardship. We will continue this war on terror until the killers are brought to justice, and we will prevail.
May God bless the souls who have been harmed in Iraq.
Thank you very much.