The United States of America today reaffirmed its commitment to support Egypt’s ongoing democratic transition.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today met Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr at Washington, DC.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome the foreign minister here to the State Department for our first official bilateral meeting. We’ve spoken on the phone several times during these last few months, we’ve seen each other at large multilateral meetings, but there is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton stressed that it is clear that Egypt’s leadership in the Arab world and in the region and beyond is key to regional progress. She said she was very pleased that Egypt has recognized the Transitional National Council in Libya.
She cited that they have discussed a number of their joint priorities. She said the Egyptian people look to the Supreme Council to support the transition and to ensure that the elections go in a very positive way that provides transparency, freedom, and fairness.
“And we fully support the Egyptian people in their journey. We are looking forward to the parliamentary elections this fall, the upper house in parliament, the presidential elections to follow. But we’re well aware, having been working at our own democracy for over 230 years, that this takes time. This takes persistence and patience, and it’s often hard to have the latter in a time when there’s so much pent-up demand and hope for a better future. So we look to being a strong partner for the Egyptian people.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton emphasized that the United States is looking to implement, through the Congress, the $1 billion debt swap that President Obama announced in May. Rather than making interest payments on a debt, the Egyptian people can invest that money into new projects that create jobs and give them a better standard of living.
“We’re also working on launching a network of community colleges in Egypt that would provide training for Egyptians to be able to take advantage of the investment opportunities that we hope will come to Egypt.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted that Egypt has the largest market and the largest workforce in the Arab world. The Citibank released a study earlier this year suggesting that with smart investment in its people and its political and economic systems, Egypt could become one of the top ten economies in the world.
Ms. Clinton stated that both countries are going to be focused on trade, investment, on the new Middle East Trade and Investment Partnership, to help Egypt gain even greater access to global markets.
“I will be giving an interview tomorrow to an Egyptian radio host and taking this message and sending it out to millions of Egyptians that the United States stands with you and supports you and wants to see a prosperous, peaceful, exciting future for not only Egypt but the entire region.” -Ms. Clinton