Condoleeza Rice on democracy in the Middle East

as reported by the BBC in 2005:

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has delivered a forceful call for democratic reform in the Arab World in a major policy speech in Cairo.   The US pursuit of stability in the Middle East at the expense of democracy had “achieved neither”, she admitted.  Now, we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people,” she said.  She criticised Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where she arrived after leaving Cairo, for cracking down on dissenters.  She also called on Egypt to ensure its upcoming election was free and fair.

In her speech at the American University in Cairo, Ms Rice referred to US President George W Bush’s second inaugural address, in which he said his aim was to help people find their democratic voice and not to impose a US-style government on them.  For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region, here in the Middle East, and we achieved neither,” she told an audience that included government officials and academics.

“Throughout the Middle East the fear of free choices can no longer justify the denial of liberty,” Ms Rice said.

“It is time to abandon the excuses that are made to avoid the hard work of democracy.”


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