U.S. Diplomat Assures Egypt on Aid
On his way to another round in the U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue, deputy U.S. Secretary of State, William Burns met with the new Egyptian president and said the United States was “fully committed” to assistance for Egypt.
“The United States will do all we 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,” Burns said Monday after meeting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. “Egyptians know far better than we do that their aspirations are not yet fully realized, but they can count on America’s partnership on the complicated road ahead.”
Some lawmakers in Congress, wary of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood affiliations, want the United States to slow down assistance until it is made clear that Morsi remains committed to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
Burns said he was in Cairo to prepare for a visit later this month to Egypt by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the highest level visit since Morsi’s election in June.
Burns alluded to the U.S. expectation that Morsi will uphold the peace.
“We are fully committed to working with Egypt’s president, its new government and all parties to sustain our partnership and advance our shared interest in a strong, democratic, and economically vibrant Egypt that is a force for peace and stability in the region,” he said.
Burns is on his way to Israel, where later this week he will lead the U.S. side in the strategic dialogue.
Clinton also is scheduled to visit the country later this month.
Such visits have intensified in recent months as the United States and Israel coordinate on how best to deal with Iran and its suspected nuclear weapons program.
The Obama administration wants to exhaust its two-pronged effort of leading Western engagement with the Iranian regime while also intensifying its isolation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that dialogue has failed and is skeptical of the efficacy of new sanctions, and wants to see a more pronounced threat of military action.
Burns also will meet Palestinian Authority leaders in the West Bank.