US still determined to help Egypt amid instability
Responding to the desires of millions of Egyptians for democracy, the United States of America today revealed its next steps on U.S. policy toward Egypt.
In her remarks in Washington DC, Acting Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Jones before the House Foreign Affairs Committee says amid untoward incidents since the ousting of former Egyptian President Morsi, the President Obama said it could not continue business as usual with respect to its assistance.
“That decision – after careful review, we recently announced a recalibration of this assistance.” – Ms. Jones
She explains that decision ensures that assistance is directed towards core U.S. interests.
One of US interests is helping Egypt secure its borders in the Sinai and preventing the flow of weapons into Gaza that threaten Israel.
In addition, Ms. Jones aslo highlighted US interest countering terrorists seeking to attack U.S. and Egyptian interests.
US Assistance continues for Egypt
According to Ms. Jones, the uS government will continue military training and education as well as a sustainment of certain U.S.-origin military systems.
In economic aspect, the US will also work to provide economic support that directly benefits Egyptian people, including in the areas of health and private sector development but are not moving forward with any further cash transfers to the government.
US on advancing its interests in Egypt
Ms. Jones stresses that the recalibration reflects US effort to advance U.S. core interests in Egypt and the region while impressing upon the Egyptian leadership the importance of making progress toward a democratic transition, progress we believe the Egyptian people want.
Its decision is designed to use US assistance to encourage such a transition and a strong private-sector- led economy that can reinforce political stability, she underlined.
In addition, the United States has stayed firm to its principles and interests of advancing civil society engagement by encouraging the passage of an NGO law that conforms to international standards and Egypt’s own international commitments.
“We have registered concerns over the June trial verdict against NGO workers and have urged redress.” – Ms. Jones
Egypt after January 2011 revolution
After the revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won the parliamentary elections.
And in 2012, President Morsi was voted into power, an election viewed as free and fair.
This year, Mr. Morsi was ousted for not meeting the demands of many Egyptians. Then, the interim government replaced the Morsi government. The events in mid-August were dubbed to be troubling. There were reports of excessive force used against protesters in August; restrictions on the press, civil society and opposition parties; the continued detention of many members of the opposition; and the extension of the state of emergency.
US supports tne country’s interim government
According to Ms. Jones, the US welcomes the interim government’s commitment to a political roadmap to restore a democratically elected civilian government.
The US continues to urge the government to be inclusive, respect the rights of all Egyptians and respect the rule of law, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, the role of civil society and religious freedom.
Ms. Jones says Egypt is a vital partner and the longstanding partnership is predicated on shared interests: Promoting a stable and prosperous Egypt, securing regional peace and maintaining peace with Israel, and countering extremism and terrorism throughout the region.
“This partnership has brought the United States significant benefits.” – Ms. Jones
Among the benefits mentiones are easy transit through the Suez Canal; military overflights that facilitate our activities; and the counterterrorism and counterproliferation gains that come from Egypt’s efforts to control its borders with Gaza and security challenge countries like Libya.
Th US believes that there is no doubt that a reliable Egyptian partner is in U.S. strategic interests.
“We firmly believe that the best, most reliable Egyptian partner is a democratic Egypt.” – Ms. Jones
The US asserts that a sustainable, inclusive, nonviolent transition to a democratically elected government will give Egypt the best opportunity to succeed.
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.
Kerry said 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.
US is also 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.