June 24, 2012

Kerry on Egyptian Election

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following is a statement by Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, on the Egyptian presidential election:

“The Egyptian people deserve enormous praise for conducting the first democratically-elected presidential election of the post-Mubarak era. This is an historic moment for them in their post-revolutionary period, and it’s an Egyptian moment just as it’s been an Egyptian revolution.

“During my recent visits to Cairo, I've had two candid discussions with the new president. He’s acknowledged that the central issue to Egypt’s future is economic. His words suggest he understands the gravity of the challenges facing Egypt. In our discussions, Mr. Morsi committed to protecting fundamental freedoms, including women's rights, minority rights, the right to free expression and assembly, and he said he understood the importance of Egypt’s post-revolutionary relationships with America and Israel. Ultimately, just as it is anywhere in the world, actions will matter more than  words.

“Egypt today faces many challenges and many believe the revolution is at great risk. The country has no parliament and no constitution, its economy has been devastated, and there are serious questions about the future direction of its foreign policy. Nonetheless, Egypt remains a key partner for the United States, a leader in the region, and a bellwether for the long term meaning of the Arab Spring. Obviously American concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood’s past statements and positions are widely shared and well understood. But it would be a mistake for us to pull back from our engagement with a free and democratic Egypt. This is a time to test intentions not to prejudge them. All parties must come together to build a better future for the Egyptian people and I will continue to monitor Egypt’s political transition with great interest.”

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