The free flow of energy is one of the US’s core interests in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), US President Barack Obama said in a Sept. 24 address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world,” he declared. “Although America is steadily reducing [its] own dependence on imported oil, the world still depends on the region’s energy supply, and a severe disruption could destabilize the entire global economy.”
Obama said the US is prepared to use all elements of its power, including military force, to secure those core interests, which also include confronting external aggression against its allies and partners, dismantling terrorist networks, and not tolerating development or use of weapons of mass destruction.
America’s core interests are not its only interests in the region, the president emphasized. “We deeply believe it is in our interests to see a Middle East and North Africa that is peaceful and prosperous, and will continue to promote democracy and human rights and open markets, because we believe these practices achieve peace and prosperity,” he said.
“But I also believe that we can rarely achieve these objectives through unilateral American action, particularly through military action,” Obama continued. “Iraq shows us that democracy cannot simply be imposed by force. Rather, these objectives are best achieved when we partner with the international community and with the countries and peoples of the region.”
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