News / Middle East

Obama: Egypt Will Never Be The Same

President Barack Obama makes a statement on the resignation of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in the Grand Foyer at the White House in Washington, February 11, 2011
President Barack Obama makes a statement on the resignation of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in the Grand Foyer at the White House in Washington, February 11, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama said the people of Egypt have inspired the American people through their peaceful 18-day campaign for democracy. Obama said Friday that "today" belongs to Egypt’s people, after the resignation of their longtime president, Hosni Mubarak.

The president said the entire world has taken note of the history taking place in Cairo. "The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same."

Obama said a new generation has emerged, and a democratic Egypt can advance its role of responsible leadership in the Middle East and around the world.

"By stepping down, President Mubarak responded to the Egyptian people’s hunger for change," said Obama. "But this is not the end of Egypt’s transition, it is a beginning."

The president acknowledged that there will be difficult days ahead as Egypt works toward democracy, but he said the United States will give whatever assistance is necessary.

Obama called on Egypt’s new military leaders to ensure a credible transition, ensure universal rights, lift the country’s emergency law and lay out a clear path to fair and free elections.

He also praised the Egyptian military and the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators for refraining from using violence.

"For in Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence,not terrorism, not mindless killing, but nonviolence, moral force, that bent the arc of history toward justice once more," said Obama.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama was informed of Mubarak’s decision to step down during a meeting in the Oval Office. He then watched TV coverage of the scene in Cairo for several minutes.

Gibbs said Obama and Mubarak did not speak before the announcement.

President Obama met with his national security advisers before he spoke.

Before the president’s speech, Egyptian reformist leader Mohamed El-Baradei told CNN he wanted to hear Obama say the U.S. will never support an authoritarian system in Egypt under any circumstances.  

Earlier in the day, Vice President Joe Biden said the toppling of Mubarak is part of a phenomenon that extends beyond Egypt. "All of this began when a fruit vendor in Tunisia, fed up with an indignity of a corrupt government and a stagnant economy literally set himself on fire, and in doing so ignited the passions of millions and millions of people throughout that region."

The top Democrat in the House of Representatives, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said on the social network Twitter that young people are leading Egypt toward democracy. She called their actions "an inspiration to the world."

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a written statement calling for a calm and orderly transition to democracy to begin in Egypt. She also urged the rejection of any involvement by the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups she called "extremists."

The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Howard Berman, said Mubarak’s departure is not yet a victory for democracy. But a statement from Berman said it inspires great hope that true Egyptian democracy, once unimaginable, is on the horizon.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid