US Helps Egypt Achieve Its Aspirations for Democracy

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Highlighting its optism on Egypt’s future, th United States of America today underlined its commitment to help Egypt achieve its aspirations for democracy and for opportunity.

In a joint Statement With Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr in Cairo in Egypt, US Secretary of State John Kerry makes it clear that he came to Egypt as friends for the Egyptian people, not for one government or one person or one party or ideology, but for the Egyptian people.

“As your long time friends and partners, the American people support Egypt’s political and economic success and want to help work for that success.” – Secretary Kerry

US Ready to listen to Egyptian people

According to Secretary Kerry, he came to Egypt to listen to the people of Egypt by not urging anybody to take one particular action or another.

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Demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on 8 February 2011.

“And I emphasize again as strongly as I can, we’re not here to interfere. I’m here to listen.” – Secretary

He explains that though US has a point of view, and certainly he will express that.

“But what we support is democracy and the people and the nation of Egypt.” – Secretary Kerry

The US looks forward to working with listening to all of the Egyptian people as they work towards their path, what they choose to do to move forward to economic strength, to a vibrant democracy, and to a regional peace and security.

The US believes that in this moment of serious economic challenge, that it’s important for the Egyptian people to come together around the economic choices and to find some common ground in making those choices.

Secretary Kerry notes it is important, even urgent, that the Egyptian economy gets stronger and that people have jobs and have opportunity and that the energy of this country can be focused on a more prosperous future.

“So on behalf of President Obama and the American people, I’m here to listen and to better understand how we can help, because the health and strength and the future of Egypt is something that America cares deeply about.” – Secretary Kerry

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A protester holds an Egyptian flag during the protests that started on 25 January 2011 in Egypt.

US listens to passion and commitment of Egyptian people for democracy and human rights

While in Cairo, Secretary Kerry is pleased to meet with a cross-section of political and business leaders.

“And today, I listened very carefully to the extraordinary passion and commitment of some of the opposition and their concerns about democracy, human rights and all values that Egypt shares in the United States.” – Secretary Kerry

He says a vibrant democracy stimulates business, it supports a vibrant NGO sector, it encourages full political participation, and universal freedoms, and respect for the rights of women and for people of all faiths.

He listened carefully to their views about how to strengthen Egypt’s democracy, its economy, and its security.

Secretary conveyed to them a very simple message.

“The best way to ensure human rights and strong political checks and balances in any democracy in Egypt, just like in the United States, is through the broadest possible political and economic participation.” – Secretary Kerry

According to Secretary Kerry, there are many ways to demonstrate that activity.

Egyptians can do it in protest or they can do it in participating, they’re all part of the mosaic of democracy.

However, Secretary Kerry explains that US believes that being active, engaging in peaceful participation is essential to building strong communities and a healthy democracy.

US believes that it is vital to protect and to advance the universal rights that are in Egypt’s constitution: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and equal rights and protections under the law for all Egyptians regardless of their gender, their faith, their ethnicity, or their political affiliation.

Secretary Kerry says with both humility and with a great deal of respect, that getting there requires a genuine give and take among Egypt’s political leaders and civil society groups.

He says there must be a willingness on all sides to make meaningful compromises on the issues that matter most to all of the Egyptian people.

Secretary Kerry: The road ahead is long for Egypt, but optimistic of it’s future

Secretary Kerry underlines that there are tough choices to be made, but what is clear is US confident that if all Egyptians stay focused on achieving the economic and the political opportunity that Egyptian people deserve and demand, Egypt nation will have the promising future that it deserves.

United States provides direct support to key engines of democratic change in Egypt

According to Secretary Kerry in Washington DC, in May 2011, President Obama pledged $1 billion in U.S. support for Egypt’s democratic revolution.

“This commitment reflected our profound support for and interest in Egypt’s future as a democracy driven by strong businesses, vibrant non-governmental organizations, full political participation and universal freedoms.” – Secretary Kerry

He says the path to that future has clearly been difficult and much work remains.

The United States is committed to providing direct support to key engines of democratic change in Egypt, including Egypt’s entrepreneurs and its young people, he announced.

Today, US is launching the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund, with an initial installment of $60 million in U.S. government capital now, rising to $300 million in the coming years as we work with our Congress on funding this and other programs.

The US government is also modifying its Qualifying Industrial Zones program in order to help increase Egypt’s exports to the United States.

He notes by allowing exports from additional Egyptian companies in these zones to come into the United States duty-free, the US will stimulate growth, deepen partnership, and help Egypt add thousands of jobs.

New funds to spur reform

According to Secretary Kerry, the US will make investments as well in Egypt’s young people by funding a higher education initiative to help students, especially women, earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and business.

And in light of Egypt’s extreme needs and President Morsy’s assurance that he plans to complete the IMF process, Secretary Kerry advised him the United States will now provide the first $190 million of its pledged $450 million in budget support funds in a good-faith effort to spur reform and help the Egyptian people at this difficult time.

“The United States can and wants to do more.” – Secretary Kerry

He adds that reaching an agreement with the IMF will require further effort on the part of the Egyptian government and broad support for reform by all Egyptians.

When Egypt takes the difficult steps to strengthen its economy and build political unity and justice, US will work with its Congress at home on additional support.

He notes these steps will also unlock much-needed private-sector investment and broader financial assistance.

Secretary Kerry underlines that the American people want to see the political and economic success of our long-time partners and friends in Egypt.

Two Completely Opposite Views

The US looks forward to continuing to work closely with all Egyptians as they define their own path to economic strength, a working democracy, and regional peace and security.

Earlier in 2012, President Obama proposed a $1 billion cancellation of Egyptian debt to support Egypt’s economic recovery.

Egypt has made progress on human rights since the revolution that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Long-standing regimes were toppled by a wave of pro-democracy protests that have engulfed much of North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, particularly in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

As positive as this all sounds, DEBKA tells a slightly different story. According to DEBKA, Kerry talks economics, finds Morsi preoccupied with Islamizing Egypt. While Egypt’s economy flounders, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are much more concerned with expanding their power and removing any opposition.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.