Kerry Says U.S. Is Friend, Partner to Egyptian People


By Merle David Kellerhals Jr. | Staff Writer | 05 November 2013
Nabil Fahmy, John Kerry and Adly Mansour seated and smiling (AP Images)

Secretary of State John Kerry, center, met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, left, and President Adly Mansour in Cairo on November 3 to discuss security and economic issues and to plan a new U.S.-Egypt strategic dialogue.

Washington — Secretary of State John Kerry said during a brief visit to Cairo for talks with senior Egyptian leaders that the United States is a friend and partner to the Egyptian people and the nation.

“The United States wants Egypt to succeed and we want to contribute to your success,” Kerry said at a November 3 press briefing with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.

Kerry acknowledged that it has been a difficult time and that there have been a turbulent couple of years for Egyptians, but he said the people have also shown the world how strong they are in the face of this transition and they have demonstrated a significant resolve.

“The United States believes that the U.S. and Egypt partnership is going to be strongest when Egypt is represented by an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government based on the rule of law, fundamental freedoms, and an open and competitive economy,” Kerry told journalists.

Kerry met with President Adly Mansour, defense minister General Abdel Fattah Said el-Sisi and Fahmy during his visit to Cairo. Kerry is on a 10-day trip to the Middle East, Europe and North Africa.

Kerry said he welcomed Fahmy’s restatement of the interim government’s commitment to a road map that aims to move Egypt toward an inclusive democracy and economic stability. The road map is a process that would amend the current Egyptian constitution and put the new charter to a nationwide referendum before the end of 2013, and then hold free parliamentary and presidential elections by the spring of 2014.

“We also talked about the importance of how it is in everyone’s interest that Egypt see a transition, live a transition, that results in a constitution that protects the rights of all Egyptians, including freedom of expression and assembly, the ability to participate in civil society, as well as in religious freedom,” Kerry told journalists.

Kerry said that nothing will help to bring the people of Egypt together more, provide more economic stability or provide more confidence in the future than a nation that is participating in a democratically elected government through free and fair elections.

Fahmy told journalists that the Egyptian people aspire to a democratic system with a civilian government, “which will function according to the norms of a global democracy irrespective of the fact that we have some cultural variations here and there in terms of our traditions.”

The United States, Kerry said, will continue to provide support that benefits Egyptians in health, education through scholarships, and private-sector development. In addition, the United States will also continue offering assistance to help secure Egypt’s borders, to work with the military, to counter terrorism and weapons proliferation, and to ensure security in the Sinai, he added.

Fahmy told journalists that his talks with Kerry provided an opportunity to explain the Egyptian vision for the future of the democratic transition, and also the aspirations of the Egyptian people toward democracy.

“With regards to the U.S.-Egyptian relations, we believe that they are very important to Egypt and we would like to further enhance this relationship in the interest of both countries based on the priorities of each country,” Fahmy said.

Kerry also announced that President Obama has accepted an invitation from President Mansour to develop a U.S.-Egypt strategic dialogue. Fahmy said that launching a strategic dialogue between the two countries would be “very, very helpful.”

“I have mentioned a few days ago that the U.S.-Egyptian relations are witnessing some tension, but today in my close discussion with the secretary, and also what Secretary Kerry has mentioned here today, I believe that the U.S. support for Egypt and the road map are all very positive indications, and we all seek to resume this relationship in a positive manner,” Fahmy said.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.