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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
June 4, 2009


WASHINGTON—Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings released the following statements today after President Barack Obama’s address in Cairo, Egypt.

“President Barack Obama’s speech today took an historic step in attempting to bridge the enormous, dangerous gulf of misunderstanding between the United States and the Muslim world. His intention, to reach out an open and peaceful hand to the Muslim community, is necessary and worthy. As the United States unambiguously renews its commitment to human rights – not as a personal belief of any political leader or simply an Administration policy, but as an obligation of our country towards international law and universal principles – I will continue to press President Obama and his administration to unabashedly press for the cause of human rights in the countries he visits, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and other countries in the region,” Chairman Cardin said.

“The President’s remarks calling for broader respect for women in the Middle East were commendable and send a supportive message to Muslim women who envision a life of greater opportunity for themselves. As the leading members of the Helsinki Commission, we have worked to make the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe more inclusive of Muslim nations. We will convey the President’s message to the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation through our engagement with the OSCE and work to ensure that countries, like Egypt and other Mediterranean Partners, are committed to living up to international economic, security and human rights standards,” Co-Chairman Hastings said.

Media Contact: Neil Simon
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