Barack Obama offered his support Tuesday for the democratic movement in Tunisia that earlier this month ended the 23-year reign of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the now-exiled former president, dpa reported.
Obama said in his State of the Union address that the United States will stand with those seeking to bring democratic rule to their countries and that the events in Tunisia show the strength of the people.
"We saw that same desire to be free in Tunisia, where the will of the people proved more powerful than the writ of a dictator," Obama said. "And tonight, let us be clear: the United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia and supports the democratic aspirations of all people."
Ben Ali fled the country to Saudi Arabia on January 14, after days of clashes between protesters and police killed dozens of people.
Tunisia's interim government has pledged to hold elections in six months, but the protests have continued as many members of the current government were Ben Ali allies.