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U.S. Promoting Rights In Mideast

Protesters from Jordanian opposition parties carry a giant national flag while shouting anti-government slogans during a demonstration against what they say are worsening economic conditions, after Friday prayers in Amman February 25, 2011. The protests i

"It is time to see civil society not as a threat, but as a partner."

In her speech at the Forum for the Future, held in Doha, Qatar, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that change in the region is inevitable. "Young people across the Middle East are demanding reform to make their governments more effective, more responsive, and more open," she said. "It is time to see civil society not as a threat, but as a partner."

The United States continues to promote the advancement of human rights, freedom and democracy, said Secretary of State Clinton. Now, as the citizens of a number of Middle Eastern countries stage protests for political change, the United States calls on these same governments to use restraint when dealing with peaceful protestors.

"We’ve been very clear from the beginning," Secretary of State Clinton emphasized, "that we do not want to see any violence. We deplore it. We think it is absolutely unacceptable. We very much want to see the human rights of the people protected, including right to assemble, right to express themselves, and we want to see reform.

"Americans are in favor of human rights, freedoms, democracy," she said. "We know that ... the most progress that can be made on behalf of human beings anywhere is when those individuals are empowered, when they have governments that are responsive. That’s what we want to see.

"Ultimately, a really, truly functioning, comprehensive democracy has historically been proven to be a greater force for stability. Navigating through what are difficult choices for societies that are doing that transition is something that the United States encourages ... and will continue to encourage," said Secretary of State Clinton.

"The United States wants to stand with those who are seeking democratic reform, economic reform, who want to protect minority rights, who want to protect women’s rights, who want to build democratic institutions that are going to reflect real results for people."