Using a region in upheaval as the impetus behind his Arab spring speech, President Barack Obama saw to it that the world knew just what it is that America values.
We support a set of universal rights. Those rights include free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; equality for men and women under the rule of law; and the right to choose your own leaders, Obama said in his Thursday at the State Department.
We support political and economic reform in the Middle East and North Africa that can meet the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people throughout the region.
That support, he said, will begin with Egypt and Tunisia, two countries that have fought back and ousted their long-time leaders.
As if to prove that America really does support democracy - and those in pursuit of it - Obama said the United States will provide a debt relief of $1 billion to Egypt, guaranteeing another$1 billion in loans to finance infrastructure and jobs creation. The United States also asked the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to present plans to stabilize and modernize the economies of Egypt and Tunisia at next week's G-8 summit, he said.
There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity. Obama said. Yes, there will be perils that accompany this moment of promise. But after decades of accepting the world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be.