"The events of the past six months show us that strategies of repression and strategies of diversion will not work anymore," Obama said in his major speech on the recent developments in the Middle East and North African countries.
"Let me be clear, America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard, even if we disagree with them," he said.
He said America backs a political and economic reform in the Middle East and North Africa to meet the legitimate aspirations of the people of the region, in turmoil for months now.
"It will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy, Obama said.
"We support political and economic reform in the Middle East and North Africa that can meet the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people throughout the region," Obama said in his major speech on the recent developments in the Middle East and North African countries.
"I want to make it clear that it is a top priority that must be translated into concrete actions, and supported by all of the diplomatic, economic and strategic tools at our disposal." He said America must use all our influence to encourage reform in the region.
"And we are going to start with Tunisia and Egypt," he said.
As Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa call out for dignity after decades under the yoke of autocrats, many backed by the United States, he said Washington had to do more than just pursue its core interests.
These interests, he said, are countering terrorism, stopping the spread of atomic weapons, securing the free flow of commerce, standing up for Israel's security and pursuing Arab-Israeli peace.