A leading “US senator called Wednesday for providing financial aid in support of democracy and economic transformation in Arab countries undergoing popular demands for change,” the AFP reports.
"Events this powerful demand a powerful response," said Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
"Our commitment now to the ordinary people who are risking their lives to win human rights and democracy will be remembered for generations in the Arab world," the Democratic senator told the committee.
"We have to get this moment right," Kerry said as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepared to testify at a time when Republicans are demanding massive cuts in the US foreign aid budget.
"We are working here in the Senate with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to create a package of longer-term financial assistance," he added, acknowledging some might oppose the call.
Kerry added that this effort is “not about sending troops and tanks to remake a region in our image. It is about sending economists and election experts and humanitarian aid to help a region remake itself.”
He is “convinced a significant financial commitment by the United States to assist in this monumental and uplifting transformation is key to its long-term outcome and our relationship to it.”