Obama calls US envoys in Arab world

Posted at 09/18/12 9:59 AM

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama called top US diplomats across the Arab world at the weekend to assure them their safety is a top priority as anti-American unrest sweeps the region.

The president spoke to chiefs of US mission in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen and Sudan, days after four Americans, including the US ambassador to Tripoli, were killed in an assault on the US consulate in Benghazi.

White House deputy spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters the calls were to "let those diplomats know he was thinking about them, that their safety remains a top priority of his, and to tell them he remains focused on it."

Earnest said the safety of US diplomats abroad remained on Obama's mind, even as he toured swing states on his re-election campaign.

Protests have erupted in 20 countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, the Philippines and Yemen over a low-budget trailer of a movie deemed offensive to Muslims that appeared on YouTube.

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