Posted on September 05, 2012 in Platforms
Across the Middle East and North Africa, we have stood with the people demanding political change and seeking their rights during the Arab Spring. Since the beginning of the protests in Tunisia, the United States has consistently opposed violence against innocent civilians, supported a set of universal rights for the people of the region, and supported processes of political and economic reform. When the Egyptian people flooded Tahrir Square in Cairo demanding democracy, the administration actively engaged the Egyptian government, military, and people in support of a transition away from decades of dictatorship and towards democracy. In Libya, we built an international coalition and intervened alongside NATO and other partner nations to protect the Libyan people and support them as they ended Muammar Qadhafi’s brutal reign. In Iran, President Obama spoke out in support of the pro-democracy protestors and imposed human rights sanctions on the Iranian government. In Yemen, we worked with Gulf Cooperation Council states to facilitate a peaceful transition of power. And in Syria, we have led the international community to politically and economically isolate the regime, increase pressure on President Assad to step down, and to provide assistance to unify the Syrian opposition in order to enable a stable transition. Moving forward, we will work to hasten the end of the Assad regime and support a political transition to a stable and democratic Syria. We will continue to support the consolation of democratic transitions in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen. And we will engage governments and civil society across the region on behalf of genuine efforts to promote political and economic reforms that are responsive to the people of the region.