I think it is fair to say that most Americans have been rather pleased at the general direction that the upheavals in the Near East and North Africa that have been taking place over the last few months. We are always happy to see the spread of real democracy. However, as these upheavals have occurred, the small Christian minorities in these overwhelmingly Muslim countries are a little bit nervous. They have every reason to be nervous!
The Arab Spring is not complete and while Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen have successfully removed their dictatorships, a war continues in Libya and free speech is cruelly suppressed in Syria, Bahrain and several other countries.
What will be the policy of these governments after the dust has settled? So far, so good! The three new governments in Yemen, Egypt and Tunisia are not focused on religion. They have been fighting for democracy, personal liberty and the elimination of corruption. Their protests have not focused on religious issues and there has been no call for a Sharia state. Let’s hope that this continues.
As the United States recognized the Libyan rebels as the de facto government of Libya, Secretary of State promised a major increase in support but added that it had to be tied in with a faithful commitment to the building of a just and equitable society.
Thank you Madame Secretary.