Britain's Prime Minister Cameron Praises Arab Spring Movements

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British Prime Minister David Cameron tells the United Nations General Assembly that the recent popular revolts of the "Arab Spring" present a "massive opportunity" to promote democracy and prosperity. But he also criticizes the governments of Yemen and Syria for their treatment of their people.

British Prime Minister David Cameron used his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday to praise the recent popular revolts of the "Arab Spring."

[David Cameron, UK Prime Minister]:
"Last week I was in Tripoli and Benghazi I saw the hunger of a people eager to get on with reclaiming their country, writing themselves a new chapter of freedom and democracy. This has been the most dramatic episode of what has been called the Arab Spring."

Cameron told the world body that the recent uprisings in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt are opportunity for democracy in other nations.

[David Cameron, UK Prime Minister]:
"The Arab Spring is a massive opportunity to spread peace, prosperity, democracy and vitally, security, but only if we really seize the opportunity."

But just as he dished out praise for those countries, he was critical of how the governments of Yemen and Syria have cracked down on their pro-democracy demonstrators, and in the case of Syria, called for the United Nations Security Council to act.

[David Cameron, UK Prime Minister]:
"We have a responsibility to stand up against regimes that persecute their people. We need to see reform in Yemen, and above all, on Syria, it is time for the Members of the Security Council to act. We must now adopt a credible resolution threatening tough sanctions."

Some Security Council members like Russia have so far balked at a new round of actions against Syria.

[David Cameron, UK Prime Minister]:
"We should always act with care when it comes to the internal affairs of a...

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