It is a very great pleasure and a deep honor to welcome all of the people you see before you from the Middle East and North Africa, each of whom is making a commitment to work on behalf of good governance, rule of law, democracy, human rights, women’s rights, issues that are very important to all people everywhere. I’m especially excited because this program is part of a partnership with Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, so I have a special delight in having them come here to the State Department.
As President Obama said last week in Cairo, we have a number of very important issues that we wish to work with people across the world and particularly with Muslims across the world. And among those are democracy and human rights that are really at the core of self-expression and personal freedom and potential. So it is important to not only welcome these men and women here today, but to pledge our support to underscore that the United States will be a partner in working with those who are working on the front lines in their own countries.
And what I would like to do now is to ask you to come with me so we can have a few minutes to talk. Thank you all.