News / Middle East

Secretary Clinton Extends US Support to Middle East Activists

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, May 24, 2012. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, May 24, 2012.
x
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, May 24, 2012.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, May 24, 2012.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed Middle East democracy activists to the State Department on Tuesday, asking for their input on how the United States can help advance freedom and human rights in the region.

Greeting the activists before the meeting, Clinton called on them to give their "honest assessments" of the best ways for the U.S. to offer support.

"We just want to continue encouraging you, supporting you where we can in your efforts to stand up for democracy, real democracy, and the human rights of every human being, and to help advance the cause of progress and freedom in every way that you are already doing so," said Clinton. "And we're very proud of what you are doing, and we know it's not an easy path to be on, but history has I think shown time and time again that you are on the right side of history."

Clinton said the U.S. has had its own struggle with human rights, including overcoming slavery and ensuring that women have the right to vote.

"So it's not like we are telling you that it's easy for us, because it's been challenging. But we had the luxury of doing it during 200 years of history where the whole world was not watching everything you did and said," said Clinton. You are in a way in a much more challenging environment because of the media and technology that now has an opinion about everything and can be used for the betterment of human society or for the undermining of progress."

The visiting activists hail from across the Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, which all have been undergoing political transitions in the wake of anti-government uprisings. The other activists come from Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian territories and Qatar. Many in the group also took part in the State Department's civil society dialogue earlier this month.

Clinton has been a strong advocate for supporting rights in the region and has been especially concerned with events in Syria. In a speech before the United Nations Security Council in March, she said the Syrian people "deserve the same opportunity to shape their future that the Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and Yemenis now enjoy."

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid