President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to a worker after touring the Allison Hybrid Transmission headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana May 6, 2011. Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama is making a speech on the Middle East, viewed by many as a follow up to his 2009 Cairo speech. In it he is to gives his views on the "Arab Spring". Follow it here (all times are in London time).

18:00: That brings an end to Barack Obama's speech and to our coverage.

17:58: The principles driving the protests are not unfamiliar to the US, Obama says. Peaceful protest for minority rights and for an end the rule of an empire (by which he seems to mean Britain).

17:57: Despite the challenges of the region there are "reasons to be hopeful" seen in those who have peacefully protested for their rights.

17:54: However such steps to establish two states would not solve the problem of Palestinian refugees nor the status of Jerusalem.

17:52: The borders of these new states should be based on those of 1967.

17:51: Only the Israel and Palestinian representatives can bring peace - it can not be forced by America. Ultimately there must be a two state solution, the President says.

17:49: Obama says there are faults on both the Isaraeli and Palestinian sides.

17:48: Obama says he disagrees with those who argue that solving the conflict at a time of such change elsewhere in the region is best postponed.

17:45: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has "cast a shadow" over the region.

17:43: He has asked the World Bank and the IMF to present a plan to rebuild the economies of Tunisia and Egypt as they head towards democratic elections. In addition Egypt will have a billion dollars of debt cancelled to help its new democratic future. In addition new democracies will get help recovering funds stolen [by their leaders].

17:41: He gets the first round of applaus when he says "The region will never reach it's full potential as long as half the population are kept from their full potential".

17:40: The rights of religious minorities should be protected, as should the rights of women, Obama says.

17:38: America respects the right of all voices in the region to be heard, so long as they are peaceful. The US will oppose those who attempt to restrict the rights of others. Muslim Brotherhood?

17:36: America must use all its influence to bring reform to the regime.

17:35: He seemed rather uncomfortable with that, a moment where realpolitik caught up with the idealist rhetoric for which Obama is famous.

17:34: However he admits that US allies, such as Yemen and Bahrain, have not followed the democratic principles favoured by America.

17:33: Obama accuses the Iranian regime of "hypocrisy" for supporting the rights of protestors in foreign countries but brutalising them at home. Syria has learned its anti-protestors tactics from its ally Iran, Obama says.

17:32: The Syrian government has "chosen the path of murder", he adds that the Syrian people have "shown their courage".

17:31: "Time is working against Gaddafi". Obama defends the intervention, saying it saved thousands of lives.

17:29: Iraq showed how difficult imposing regime change by force can be.

17:28: Violence against protestors is not acceptable to the USA and people should have the right to choose their leaders, "whether in Baghdad, Damascus or Tehran".

17:26: Countries held together by "fear and repression" give only the illusion of stability, claims Obama.

17:24: "America's interests [in the region] are not hostile to people's hopes".

17:23: Through non violent methods the protestors have achieved more in six months than terrorists have in six decades, the President argues.

17:22: "A new generation has emerged" that says "change cannot be denied", sounds like his own election campaign.

17:21: "Too many leaders in the region attempted to blame outside countries for their own ills". For example long gone colonial powers and Israel.

17:20: Obama says that many countries in the region have no honest judiciary, no free speech and no free elections. This turned people to protest.

17:18: Obama compares protestors in the Middle East to Boston tea partiers and black civil rights icon Rosa Parks. Is Ed Miliband listening I wonder?

17:17: Al-Qaeda was losing its relevance even before the death of the "murderous" bin Laden.

17:17: Obama says the USA has already pulled out largely of Iraq and will begin to do so in Afghanistan. Perhaps an attempt to please Middle Eastern viewers.

17:16: An "extraordinary change" has swept the Middle East and North Africa as people demand their human rights, Obama says. "Two leaders have gone... more may follow" Does he mean Gaddafi? Assad?

17:15: Obama begins by thanking Clinton with a joke that she has nearly reached "one million frequent flyer miles".

17:13: Secetary of State Hillary Clinton introduces Obama.