Secretary Clinton on the Situation in the Middle East

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Latvian Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis at the State Department in Washington, DC on February 22, 2011. Before remarks with Foreign Minister Kristovskis, Secretary Clinton commented on the situation in the Middle East. The Secretary said:

"Before we begin, I'd like to say a few words about the Middle East. The United States continues to watch the situation in Libya with alarm. Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been lost and their loved ones, and we join the international community in strongly condemning the violence, as we've received reports of hundreds killed and many more injured. This bloodshed is completely unacceptable. It is the responsibility of the Government of Libya to respect the universal rights of their own people, including their right to free expression and assembly. The United States is also gravely concerned by reports of violence in Yemen and elsewhere. We urge restraint and for the governments in the region to respect the rights of their people.

"In Bahrain, we welcome King Hamad's decision to release a number of prisoners and we look forward to implementation. We also welcome Crown Prince Salman's steps to initiate a meaningful dialogue with the full spectrum of Bahraini society. We hope Bahrain's friends across the region and around the world will support this initiative as a constructive path to preserve Bahrain's stability and help meet the aspirations of all its people. As we have said, these steps will need to be followed by concrete actions and reforms. We urge all parties to work quickly so that a national dialogue can produce meaningful measures that respond to the legitimate aspirations of all the people of Bahrain, and we continue to call on the Bahraini Government to exercise restraint. There is no place for violence against peaceful protesters.

"The process for a new Tunisia and for a new Egypt has only just begun. We welcome Egypt's leaders signaling their commitment to an orderly transition to a democratic government, and we look to them to take the concrete steps needed to bring about political change. And we will continue to be a supportive partner to the peoples of both countries as they seek a better future.

"Across the Middle East, people are calling on their governments to be more open, more accountable, and more responsive, and the United States believes it is in the interest of governments to engage peacefully and positively in addressing their demands and to work to respond to them. Without genuine progress toward open and accountable political systems, the gap between people and their governments can only grow and instability can only deepen."Related Content:Consular Information for U.S. Citizens in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen



District Of Columbia, USA
February 23, 2011

Danielle in Washington writes:

How can the United States portray what to do in any matter in another country when our government cant even handle our own disorder. You cant give advice to another country on what they should or should not be doing when our government cant even decide what is best for us. I feel for every other country when disaster happens, but we have issues at hand here that need to be addressed before the government tries to get involved with another country. You cant help another without helping yourself as well. Pretty soon this is where we will be heading if our government dont put a handle on our own situations.

West Virginia, USA
February 23, 2011

Dr. G. in West Virginia writes:

Are our attempts to spread democracy in the nonwestern world akin to this nonwestern world trying to islamasize the West? Is it seen as hostile? Is the word democratization that we use to describe the protesters incorrect? Does the majority of the protesters really have democracy in mind or simply revolution? I think the media's use of democracy when referring to these protesters is incorrect.

Joseph M.
Oregon, USA
February 23, 2011

Joseph M. in Oregon writes:

Madam Secretary,

I wholeheartedly disagree with Dr. G's argument and posting from W. Virginia. We should be very concerned in supporting the democratic movements that has taken hold in North Africa and in the Arab nations recently. The United States has a strategic interest and a moral obligation. We have a unfettered commitment in supporting democratic reforms and the people's movement in each country, regardless if those populations decide and vote a parliamentary government with Islamic representation.

Whether in Egypt, Libya or in Yemen, our role is to support the raise of democratic change and to support the people's wishes for each country individually. It is not the business of the U.S. or of the international community to decide in each individual country, what a future government is likely to emerge--the will of the people should be represented, by achieving democratic reforms. I personally am very pleased in witnessing the collapse of decades of authoritarian and autocratic ruling, experienced by many Arab nations during my lifetime.

That said, as we well know, the reports and circumstances coming from Libya are extremely alarming to the entire international community. Reports out of Western Libya are becoming even more disturbing, the level of violence, shootings and large-scale human rights violations are escalating greatly, especially in Tripoli. The sign reads: "Benghazi We Are With You", Where is the joint effort by the UN and international community in the form of crisis intervention?---"Game Over Qaddafi!"

The U.S. and the EU needs to address this humanitarian disaster occurring in Libya, immediately at the scheduled conference in Geneva. Qaddafi and the brutal Czarist thugs responsible for the mass killings need to be indicted by the International War Tribunal (ICC), in saying the least.

Faten M.
Costa Rica
February 24, 2011

Faten M. in California writes:

Dear Mrs. Clinton;

I always respect you and admire you.

Please I beg you to help the Christians in Egypt. The Egyptian Army is attacking the churches and killing the Christians without any cause. Please help ASAP.

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 23, 2011


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