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    تاريخ التسجيل : 16/08/2008

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    Full text of Obama's speech in Cairo "part2"

    في الجمعة يونيو 05, 2009 11:03 pm
    I have made it clear to the Iraqi people that we pursue no basis and no claim on their territory or resources. Iraq's sovereignty is its own. And that's why I ordered the removal of our combat brigades by next August. That is why we will honor our agreement with Iraq's democratically-elected government to remove combat troops from Iraqi cities by July and to remove all of our troops from Iraq by 2012.

    We will help Iraq train its security forces and develop its economy. But we will support a secure and united Iraq as a partner and never as a patron.

    And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter or forget our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable. But in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals.

    We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States. And I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.

    So America will defend itself, respectful of the sovereignty of nations and the rule of law. And we will do so in partnership with Muslim communities, which are also threatened. The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer.

    Now, the second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world. America's strong bonds with Israel are well-known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.

    Around the world the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries. And anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented holocaust. Tomorrow I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich.

    Six million Jews were killed, more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless. It is ignorant, and it is hateful.

    Threatening Israel with destruction or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews is deeply wrong and only serves to evoke in the minds of the Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.

    On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people, Muslims and Christians, have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years, they've endured the pain of dislocation.

    Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations, large and small, that come with occupation.

    So let there be no doubt, the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity and a state of their own.

    For decades, then, there has been a stalemate. Two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It's easy to point fingers.

    For Palestinians to point to the displacement brought about by Israel's founding and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history, from within its borders as well as beyond.

    But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth. The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.

    That is in Israel's interests, Palestine's interests, America's interests and the world's interests. And that's why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all of the patience and dedication that the task requires.

    The obligations — the obligations that the parties have agreed to under the Road Map are clear. For peace to come, it is time for them and all of us to live up to our responsibilities.

    Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and it does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding.

    This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia, to Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It's a story with a simple truth: violence is a dead end. It is a sign neither of courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children or to blow up old women on a bus. That's not how moral authority is claimed, that's how it is surrendered.

    Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern with institutions that serve the needs of its people.

    Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have to recognize they have responsibilities, to play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, recognize Israel's right to exist.

    At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.

    This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.

    And Israel must also live up to its obligation to ensure that Palestinians can live and work and develop their society. Just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel's security, neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank.

    Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be a critical part of a road to peace. And Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.

    And, finally, the Arab states must recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibility. The Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems. Instead, it must be a cause for action to help the Palestinian people develop the institutions that will sustain their state, to recognize Israel's legitimacy and to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past.

    America will align our policies with those who pursue peace, and we will say in public what we say in private to Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs.

    We cannot impose peace. But privately, many Muslims recognize that Israel will not go away. Likewise, many Israelis recognize the need for a Palestinian state.

    It is time for us to act on what everyone knows to be true. Too many tears have been shed, too much blood has been shed.

    All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians could, can see their children grow up without fear, when the holy land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be, when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra — as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed — peace be upon them — joined in prayer.

    The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons. This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself, in part, by its opposition to my country. And there is, in fact, a tumultuous history between us.

    In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known.

    Rather than remain trapped in the past, I've made it clear to Iran's leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question now is not what Iran is against but, rather, what future it wants to build.

    I recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve. There will be many issues to discussion between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect.

    But it is clear to all concerned that when it comes to nuclear weapons, we have reached a decisive point. This is not simply about America's interests.

    It's about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.

    Now, I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nations should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons. And that's why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.

    And any nation, including Iran, should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the treaty. And it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.

    The fourth issue that I will address is democracy.

    I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years. And much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear. No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation by any other. That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people.

    Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election.

    But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed, confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice, government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people, the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas. They are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.

    Now, there is no straight line to realize this promise. But this much is clear. Governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments, provided they govern with respect for all their people.

    This last point is important because there are some who advocate for democracy only when they're out of power. Once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others.

    So no matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who would hold power. You must maintain your power through consent, not coercion. You must respect the rights of minorities and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise. You must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party.

    Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.
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