Democratic change across Mideast is US’ top priority, says Obama | Pakistan Today

Democratic change across Mideast is US’ top priority, says Obama

The top US priority is to promote democratic change across the Arab world, US President Barack Obama said on Thursday invoking the killing of Osama bin Laden as a chance to recast relations with region. Obama, in his much-anticipated “Arab spring” speech, also ratcheted up pressure on Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, saying for the first time that he must stop a crackdown on protests and lead a democratic transition “or get out of the way”.
He hailed popular unrest sweeping the Middle East as a “historic opportunity”. “The people have risen up to demand their basic human rights. Two leaders have stepped aside. More may follow,” Obama told an audience of US and foreign diplomats at the State Department in Washington. His bid to reset ties with the Arab world also faced skepticism over what many have perceived as a hesitant and uneven response to the region’s uprisings that threaten both US friends and foes.
Struggling to regain the initiative in a week of intense Middle East diplomacy, Obama was seizing an opportunity to reach out to the Arab world in the wake of the bin Laden’s death.



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