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US President Barack Obama: “Countries are more peaceful when they look after their citizens”

08 February 2016


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Barack Obama has said governments in the region that “embrace reform” and invest in the lives of their people, will continue to have a friend in the United States.

Speaking via video link at the World Government Summit, the US president said: “Countries are more peaceful when they look after their citizens. When they don’t it leads to strife. As we’ve seen in the tumult across the Middle East and North Africa, when governments do not lift up their citizens, it is a recipe for instability and strife.”

The president also called on the region’s governments to make a commitment to “justice and human rights”.

He said: “Together we can ensure – and arm our children with the education to prepare them, for the global economy – that economic growth is inclusive, that more communities can do their part to protect our planet.

“With a commitment to global law and transparency governments can make it easier to for us to collaborate and turn our ideas into reality. With a commitment to justice we can uphold the dignity of all people of all backgrounds.”

Obama asked nations to support one another to make this possible.

He said: “In the US our constitution begins with three simple words: ‘We the people’. More than 200 years on we’re still working to perfect our own. Our countries can learn from each other. We can make our governments even more responsive and accountable. Across this region and around the world those who truly embrace reform and invest in the lives of people will continue to have a partner and friend in the United States.”