In his speech concerning the Middle East at the State Department this Thursday, President Barack Obama is expected to outline his vision for the future of a region in upheaval.
And with the death of Osama bin Laden, stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks, uprisings, near-civil war in Libya and the overthrow of autocratic rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, the president has much to discuss.
But according to his press secretary, Jay Carney, the president is looking forward to it.
The president sees [the speech] as an opportunity to sort of step back and assess what we've all witnessed, the historic change we've seen, and to talk about how he views it as a moment of opportunity to explain to the world what our values are and the values and principles that we bring to the region, Carney said Wednesday during his weekly White House press briefing.
He'll talk specifically about ways that we can best support that positive change, while focusing on our core principles: nonviolence, support for human rights, and support for political and economic reform.
Obama's much-anticipated Arab spring speech will come one day before White House talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and comes days after rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas proclaimed a reconciliation pact.
When asked what the president would say to Netanyahu on Friday, Carney said: We've made it clear that Hamas must stop its outrageous use of terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist. That remains our position. It has not changed. We're watching developments in the Palestinian Territories, and we're watching them very closely.
The killing of bin Laden should also give Obama the opportunity to make the case for Arabs to reject Islamist militancy and embrace democratic change.