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Gandhian principles validated in Egypt: Hillary

Hillary Clinton said the US is using social media like Facebook and Twitter to extend the reach of diplomacy beyond governments, in what is being called 21st century statecraft.



Washington: Effusively praising Egypt`s youth for bringing about a bloodless revolution, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the success of the country`s uprising had validated yet again the principles propounded by
Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

In a web-social media interaction with Egyptians and later in her remarks at a conference, Hillary Clinton said leaders like Gandhi and King showed to the world how to bring transformation without picking a gun.

She said their teachings become all the more relevant in today`s context when people across the Middle East have taken to the streets, protesting peacefully for change.

"I am very proud of what Egyptian young people have done. You have set such an extraordinary example of non-violent, peaceful protest," Clinton said during her social media dialogue with Ahmed Ghanim of Egypt for which more than 6,500 questions were received through Facebook, Twitter and Masrawy.com.

Besides the Indian independence movement, she cited the civil rights movement of America as an example of non-violent revolutions that had transformed societies.

"We have a history of that in our own country. That`s how African Americans got the right to vote because of Dr Martin Luther King and what we believed in," she said.

"We saw it in India, which became the world`s largest democracy because of Gandhi and non-violence. I have always believed that non-violent protest, well-organised and disciplined as I saw in Egypt, will bring down dictators, will change laws, will change the future," Hillary Clinton said.

Later, Hillary Clinton again spoke on how she viewed the present developments in the Middle East and the people`s quest for greater political say being expressed through peaceful mass movements on `Historically Black Colleges and
Universities Foreign Policy Briefing`.

"I linked it with our own civil rights history and the role that non-violent demonstrations and the whole ethos of non-violence played here in the United States and then also in India," Hillary Clinton said.

"So with Dr King and with Gandhi, those were examples of how one brings about profound transformational change without picking up a gun. It gives a lie to the extremist narrative in the world that somehow the only way you could get
change is at the end of a gun barrel," Clinton said.

She said the happenings of the day were particularly important for young people around the world because these developments are giving birth to a new future and a new world.

"People from the State Department and USAID are working to continue supporting democracy in Iraq, to help the people there realise the true results of having now a
democratically-elected government, working with people in Afghanistan and Pakistan against some very tough challenges," she noted.

Hillary Clinton said the US is using social media like Facebook and Twitter to extend the reach of diplomacy beyond governments, in what is being called 21st century statecraft.

"We`re working to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons, to fight climate change, which despite what you might hear sometime is actually a real problem that we`re having to contend with.

She said her country was also working to promote Internet freedom, because that now the assembly point for people.

PTI

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