Obama's Statement

by Patrick Appel

section of the briefing Obama just delivered:

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Egypt. As the situation continues to unfold, our first concern is preventing injury and loss of life, so I call upon the Egyptian authorities to refrain from violence against the protesters. The US will stand up for human rights everywhere.

Those protesting in the streets have a resposibility to express themselves peacefully.

The US has a close partnership with Egypt. But we've also been clear that there must be reform - social, political and economic. In the absence of these [reforms], grievances have built up over time. I just spoke to President Mubarak, after his speech, and told him he has a responsilibilty to give meaning to his words.

Violence will not address the grievances of the Egyptian people.

What's needed is concrete steps that advance the rights of the people. Ultimately, the future of Egypt will be determined by its people, and we believe the people want the same things as we want. The Egyptian people want a future that befits the heirs to a great and ancient civiliaztions. The US is committed to working with the government and the people to achieve the goals.

When I was in Cairo, after I became president, I said that all governments must maintain power through consent, not coercion, and that is how they will achieve the future. The US will continue to stand up to the rights of the Egyptian people, and work with the government to ensure a future that is more hopeful.