Photo: John Kerry (Mark Gregory)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry encouraged Egyptians to take part peacefully in the political life of their country in order to strengthen democracy, after meeting with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr, in Cairo.
“We do believe that in this moment of serious economic challenge that it’s important for the Egyptian people to come together around the economic choices and to find some common ground,” Kerry said at a joint press conference with Amr.
The U.S. official said that he met Saturday with members of the opposition and heard “the enthusiasm” of their commitment to freedom and democracy.
“We are not here to interfere, we are here to listen,” Kerry said, adding that “we are not here to urge anybody to take one particular action or another. What we support is democracy and the people and the nation of Egypt.”
In his opinion, the best way to guarantee human rights in a country is through the political participation of its citizens.
And this, he believes, is achieved through permanent dialogue and consultations with representatives of civil society, and with a real willingness on the part of political parties to resolve the matters that affect citizens most.
Kerry also said that “it is paramount, essential, urgent that the Egyptian economy get stronger, that it gets back on its feet,” and stressed that a solid democracy spurs the business sector.
During his meeting with Amr they also spoke of the situation in Syria and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Kerry also thanked Egyptian authorities, and in particular President Mohammed Morsi, for his work of mediation to bring about a cease-fire in Gaza last November and for welcoming the Syrian opposition in Egypt.