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Corker: Aiding Egypt's Transition to Democracy in U.S. Interests


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U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said an agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and Egypt to relieve a portion of Egyptian debt using existing funds will aid Egypt's transition to democracy, which is in the interests of the U.S. and other countries in the region.

"While I was in Egypt last week, I met with Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, Defense Minister General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, Ambassador Patterson, and the American team who were working to redirect already allocated funds to help stabilize the new Egyptian government and relieve some financial pressure to allow the new government to begin to fully function," said U. S. Senator Bob Corker, who was in Cairo on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

"I came away from my meetings with high level Egyptian officials and business leaders hopeful about their fledgling democracy and encouraged by their focus on creating a strong economy in this critical region. As they finalize their constitution and their democracy becomes more fully rooted, we should do all we appropriately can to help them succeed, because a strong relationship based upon democratic governance and trade is clearly in the interests of the United States and the other countries of this important region. While the story is still being written on what Egypt's new government will ultimately look like and many risks remain, our priority should be on helping them now to minimize the risk that they will move away from moderation in the future."

Corker traveled to Egypt and Turkey from August 29 to September 1 to get a firsthand view of the critical issues shaping U.S. policy in the region, including Egypt's transition to a new government since the fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the ongoing crisis in Syria. The first two days were spent in Cairo, where Sen. Corker, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne W. Patterson, met with Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, the Egyptian defense minister, and the ministry of foreign affairs to discuss governance, security, regional issues and relations between our two countries. He also met with Robert Hormats, U.S. undersecretary of State for economic growth, and talked with Egyptian civil society leaders, members of the business community, and the media about the current direction of the new government.

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