US President Barack Obama has promised a new program of economic aid to support the people’s uprisings of the Arab world, including helping new governments recover assets lost to corruption. He made a speech in Washington in a bid to boost relations, saying America’s priority was to promote democratic change across the region. He also singled out Syria’s leader for unfavourable mention.
Obama said: “The United States opposes the use of violence or oppression against the people of the region. President Assad now has a choice. He can lead that transition or get out of the way. The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests.”
“Americas’ support for democracy will therefore be based on ensuring financial stability, promoting reform, and integrating competitive markets with each other and the global economy. And we are going to start with Tunisia and Egypt.”
Obama also raised other aspects of Middle East peace, for instance calling once again for the creation of a Palestinian state and a secure Israel. He said the US believes the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on 1967 lines.