U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement on Egypt's one year anniversary under the Morsi-led Muslim Brotherhood and the increasing tensions in Egypt as demonstrations against the regime have already begun. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"One year into the Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government era, it is clear that Morsi has failed to live up to the calls for freedom and democracy. After one year of empty promises, deteriorating economic strain and continued human rights abuses by the Morsi regime, these protesters are voicing their demands for substantive political reforms in Egypt.
"Millions of Egyptians have reportedly signed a petition calling for Morsi's removal from office and a new round of presidential elections, and labor unions from across the country have threatened public strikes if Morsi does not step down. While the people of Egypt have called for widespread civil disobedience, I fear the Morsi regime and his supporters will look to continue to stoke the flames by staging violent counter protests, deliberately trying to fuel the already high tensions. I urge both sides to work to resolve this issue peacefully and to not resort to violence.
"We usually don't get many second chances to support democratic movements in the Middle East, but this is an opportunity for the United States to push for true democratic reforms and a vibrant civil society for all Egyptians. The Egyptian people have been speaking out for years and it is time we support them as they strive to implement these changes. It's clear that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have an agenda that runs counter to the objectives of the people of Egypt and the U.S. must hold the regime accountable."
Note: Chairman Ros-Lehtinen has introduced H.R. 416 -- The Egypt Accountability and Democracy Promotion Act, which conditions U.S. aid to Egypt upon certification that Egypt is not controlled by a foreign terrorist organization, transitions to a free-market democratic government, adopts and implements legal reforms that protect the rights of all citizens, fully implements the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, and destroys the smuggling network between Egypt and Gaza.