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Bombing Attacks in Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

At approximately 6:15 A.M. on January 24, 2014, a bomb detonated in Cairo, Egypt, killing four people and wounding 76 more. The U.S. Department of State today issued a condemned statement regarding the bombing attack in Egypt, and urged all Egyptians to exercise calm and restraint ahead of the third anniversary of Egypt's revolution.

Note on U.S. Relations with Egypt

Egypt map

The United States established diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1922, following its independence from protectorate status under the United Kingdom. The United States and Egypt share a relationship based on mutual interest in Middle East peace and stability, revitalizing the Egyptian economy and strengthening trade relations, and promoting regional security. Egypt has been a key U.S. partner in ensuring regional stability and on a wide range of common security issues, including Middle East peace and countering terrorism.

Egypt’s historic transition to democracy, launched in early 2011, will have a profound impact on the political future, not only of Egypt, but also the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region at large. Supporting a successful transition to democracy and economic stability in Egypt, one that protects the basic rights of its citizens and fulfills the aspirations of the Egyptian people, will continue to be a core objective of U.S. policy toward Egypt. A prosperous and democratic Egypt, buoyed by economic growth and a strong private sector, can be an anchor of stability for the MENA region.

Egypt's Constitutional Referendum

On January 18, 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry issued the following statement on Egypt's Constitutional Referendum:

Egypt's turbulent experiment in participatory democracy the last three years has reminded us all that it's not one vote that determines a democracy, it's all the steps that follow. It's a challenging transition that demands compromise, vigilance, and constant tending. The draft Egyptian constitution passed a public referendum this week, but it's what comes next that will shape Egypt’s political, economic and social framework for generations.

As Egypt’s transition proceeds, the United States urges the interim Egyptian government to fully implement those rights and freedoms that are guaranteed in the new constitution for the benefit of the Egyptian people, and to take steps towards reconciliation. 

The brave Egyptians who stood vigil in Tahrir Square did not risk their lives in a revolution to see its historic potential squandered in the transition. They've weathered ups and downs, disappointment and setbacks in the years that followed, and they're still searching for the promise of that revolution. They still know that the path forward to an inclusive, tolerant, and civilian-led democracy will require Egypt’s political leaders to make difficult compromises and seek a broad consensus on many divisive issues. 

Democracy is more than any one referendum or election. It is about equal rights and protections under the law for all Egyptians, regardless of their gender, faith, ethnicity, or political affiliation. 

We have consistently expressed our serious concern about the limits on freedom of peaceful assembly and expression in Egypt, including leading up to the referendum, just as we expressed our concerns about the dangerous path Egypt's elected government had chosen in the year that lead to 2013's turbulence. The United States again urges all sides to condemn and prevent violence and to move towards an inclusive political process based on the rule of law and respect for the fundamental freedoms of all Egyptians. 

As we have said from the beginning, we strongly believe that permitting international observers to monitor and report freely on electoral events is important in building confidence in Egypt’s political transition.

The preliminary assessments of Democracy International and the Carter Center underscore the challenges ahead, including Egypt’s polarized political environment, the absence of a fully inclusive process in drafting and debating the constitution ahead of the referendum, arrests of those campaigning against the constitution, and procedural violations during the referendum, such as campaigning in proximity to and inside polling stations and lack of ballot secrecy. 

We strongly encourage the interim Egyptian government to take these concerns into account as preparations are made for presidential and parliamentary elections. 

The work that began in Tahrir Square must not end there. The interim government has committed repeatedly to a transition process that expands democratic rights and leads to a civilian-led, inclusive government through free and fair elections. Now is the time to make that commitment a reality and to ensure respect for the universal human rights of all Egyptians.

(Source: U.S. Department of State) 

 








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