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Obama Speaks on Uprisings of Arab Spring – Live Thread

Pres. Obama speaks today from the State Department. (screengrab of WH livestream)

The President is delivering a speech from the State Department at this hour on the Arab uprising in the Middle East and North Africa. As I wrote earlier today, President Obama will announce in the speech billions in financial aid for Egypt and Tunisia, two countries making the difficult shift to democracy from decades of autocracy. And Syria’s brutal repression will be targeted with sanctions. One thing will be key – whether Obama calls on Bashar al-Assad to step down. He also should press for continued reform in Egypt: an Amnesty International report shows that the interim government in Egypt is still abusing human rights, and the security agencies remain unfettered by such concerns. There will also be a nod to the Middle East peace process, and the need to restart stalled negotiations.

Consider this an open thread for commentary on the remarks.

Update: Full text of Obama’s Middle East Speech

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David Dayen

David Dayen