The following is the full text of the speech given by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the G-8 on the subject of Arab Countries in Transition:
Good morning. Let me start by thanking everyone for the contributions that you have already made to this partnership, and for your support of democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. In Deauville, during the G-8 meeting, the countries represented there threw their support behind the Arab people during the first phases of the transitions, knowing full well how much work lay ahead.
This is a partnership conceived in optimism, but built to take on the hard realities of long and difficult transitions. The recent riots and protests throughout the region have brought the challenge of transition into sharp relief. Extremists are clearly determined to hijack these wars and revolutions to further their agendas and ideology, so our partnership must empower those who would see their nations emerge as true democracies.
Today, we want to send a clear message to all those in the region who are working each day in governments, in civil society, in the private sector, to build responsive institutions, to strengthen faltering economies, to deliver freedom for all people, to respect human rights: we stand with you and we will stand with you as long as it takes.
Because our partnership is taking practical steps to help more people in the region feel the benefits of democracy in their daily lives. In Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, people rose up against their dictators because they were fed up with governments that served the interests of a few at the expense of everyone else. But economic and social challenges did not disappear with the dictators. Too many people still can’t find jobs, and young and growing populations crave a sense of opportunity and self-determination.