“We have stood on the side of democracy”

Posted on October 22, 2012

Across the board, we are engaging them in building capacity in these countries. And we have stood on the side of democracy.

One thing I think Americans should be proud of, when Tunisians began to protest, this nation — me, my administration — stood with them earlier than just about any country.

In Egypt we stood on the side of democracy.

In Libya we stood on the side of the people.

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“Pakistan is important to the region, to the world and to us”

Posted on October 22, 2012

“But Pakistan is important to the region, to the world and to us, because Pakistan has 100 nuclear warheads and they're rushing to build a lot more. They'll have more than Great Britain sometime in the -- in the relatively near future.

They also have the Haqqani Network and the Taliban existent within their country. And so a Pakistan that falls apart, becomes a failed state, would be of extraordinary danger to Afghanistan and to us.

And so we're going to have to remain helpful in encouraging Pakistan to move towards a more stable government and rebuild the relationship with...

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“We’re going to be finished by 2014”

Posted on October 22, 2012

"Well, we're going to be finished by 2014, and when I'm president, we'll make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014. The commanders and the generals there are on track to do so."

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“Iran is a threat to our national security”

Posted on October 22, 2012

We then organized the strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions against Iran in history, and it is crippling their economy. Their currency has dropped 80 percent. Their oil production has plunged to the lowest level since they were fighting a war with Iraq 20 years ago. So their economy is in a shambles.

And the reason we did this is because a nuclear Iran is a threat to our national security, and it is a threat to Israel's national security. We cannot afford to have a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the world.

Iran is a...

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“As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon”

Posted on October 22, 2012

I will stand with Israel if they are attacked. And this is the reason why, working with Israel, we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries in history.

In fact, this week we'll be carrying out the largest military exercise with Israel in history, this very week. But to the issue of Iran, as long as I'm president of the United States Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. I made that clear when I came into office.

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“Our mission… is to dissuade Iran… through peaceful and diplomatic means”

Posted on October 22, 2012

“It is also essential for us to understand what our mission is in Iran, and that is to dissuade Iran from having a nuclear weapon through peaceful and diplomatic means. And crippling sanctions are something I called for five years ago, when I was in Israel, speaking at the Herzliya Conference. I laid out seven steps, crippling sanctions were number one. And they do work. You're seeing it right now in the economy. It's absolutely the right thing to do, to have crippling sanctions. I would have put them in place earlier. But it's good that we have them. Number...

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“Because we ended the war in Iraq, we were able to refocus our attention”

Posted on October 22, 2012

Because we ended the war in Iraq, we were able to refocus our attention on not only the terrorist threat, but also beginning a transition process in Afghanistan.

It also allowed us to refocus on alliances and relationships that had been neglected for a decade.

And Governor Romney, our alliances have never been stronger, in Asia, in Europe, in Africa, with Israel, where we have unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation, including dealing with the Iranian threat.

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“They have to make sure that they’re cooperating with us when it comes to counterterrorism”

Posted on October 22, 2012

"But what I've also said is that now that you have a democratically elected government in Egypt, that they have to make sure that they take responsibility for protecting religious minorities. And we have put significant pressure on them to make sure they're doing that; to recognize the rights of women, which is critical throughout the region. These countries can't develop if young women are not given the kind of education that they need. They have to abide by their treaty with Israel. That is a red line for us, because not only is Israel's security at stake, but...

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“We are going to ... make sure that we are helping the [Syrian] opposition”

Posted on October 22, 2012

"But ultimately, Syrians are going to have to determine their own future. And so everything we're doing, we're doing in consultation with our partners in the region, including Israel which obviously has a huge interest in seeing what happens in Syria; coordinating with Turkey and other countries in the region that have a great interest in this. This -- what we're seeing taking place in Syria is heartbreaking, and that's why we are going to do everything we can to make sure that we are helping the opposition. But we also have to recognize that, you know, for...

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