Emphasizing America’s strong commitment to building a new partnership with a ‘new’ Egypt, the United States of America today underlined its support for the country’s democratic transition and economic revival.
In his remarks foollowing meeting with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, Deputy Secretary William J. Burns congratulate the people of Egypt on what is truly an historic set of achievements.
“A peaceful revolution. Competitive elections. The first democratically-elected civilian president in Egypt’s history.” -Mr. Burns
He stresses that for all the very real problems that remain faced by Egypt, not all nations who rose up alongside you last year have been so fortunate.
“Not all nations carry Egypt’s strategic and historic weight.” -Mr. Burns
He says the United States will do all it can to help ensure a successful transition in Egypt, which offers the best path to realize the aspirations of the Egyptian people for dignity, for opportunity, for security, and for a voice in their own affairs.
In addition, the Americans are mindful that many of the Egyptian people’s most pressing concerns today are economic in nature.
The US government is fully committed to tangible initiatives to help Egypt deal with its economic challenges, including meeting immediate financial concerns, providing debt relief, helping to create jobs and educational opportunities, and encouraging U.S. investment and tourism.
“For all the obvious challenges, Egypt clearly has the potential for economic revival and inclusive growth.” -Mr. Burns
He underlines that in a very short time, Egypt has traveled a remarkable distance, but a great deal of work remains to build the strong, durable democratic system for which the Egyptian people launched their revolution.
It will be critical to see a democratically elected parliament in place, and an inclusive process to draft a new constitution that upholds universal rights, Mr. Burns highlighted.
He notes that the challenge remains of building institutions which will ensure that no matter who wins an election in any particular year, the rights of all Egyptians will always be protected.
“This challenge belongs not just to Egypt’s leaders but to its citizens as well.” -Mr. Burns
He notes that tens of millions of Egyptians will be looking to President Morsi and the Cabinet he forms to take needed steps to advance national unity and build an inclusive government that embraces all of Egypt’s faiths and respects the rights of women and secular members of society.
The US government is fully committed to working with Egypt’s President, its new government and all parties to sustain its partnership and advance its shared interest in a strong, democratic, and economically vibrant Egypt that is a force for peace and stability in the region.
While in Cairo, Mr. Burns also met with a broad range of Egyptian leaders, political figures, civil society representatives, and members of the business community.
In March this year, after the successful uprising since the overthrow of the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the United States of America said Egypt has made significant progress toward democracy in the last 15 months.
Egypt has made remarkable gains after the revolution, particularly by conducting free and fair parliamentary elections and the transfer of legislative authority to the new People’s Assembly, and a date announced for complete transition to civilian leadership.
Secretary Clinton has also certified to Congress that Egypt is meeting its obligations under its Peace Treaty with Israel.
However, the US government pointed out that Egypt’s transition to democracy is not yet complete, and more work remains to protect universal rights and freedoms.
Reports say the Egyptian people themselves have made this clear to their own leaders.
Secretary’s decision to waive is also designed to demonstrate US strong support for Egypt’s enduring role as a security partner and leader in promoting regional stability and peace.
Egypt has maintained thirty-plus years of peace with Israel as well.
The United States is committed for the protection of civil society and NGOs, which have a critical role to play in building Egypt’s democracy.
The United States remains deeply concerned regarding the trials of civil society activists-non-Egyptians and Egyptians alike–and have raised these concerns at the highest levels, urging an end to harassment.
The political transition underway is bringing about a new, more democratic Egypt, Ms. Nuland emphasized.
The United States is looking forward forward to engage with Egyptians on how it can best support and advance the interests they share.
Egyptians are living through one of the most remarkable periods of their thousands of years of history.
In February 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States stands ready to provide assistance to Egypt to advance its efforts. Secretary Clinton announced $150 million budget to assist Egypt in its economic recovery after turmoil.
Earlier this year, President Obama has 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 earlier in 2011.
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.