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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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