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

US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

Governors of several East Coast states close schools, order travel bans, urge people to stay home as snowfall, heavy winds, flooding continue in areas More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle with Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people were displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid