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Fahmy to visit Washington


Foreign minister to discuss democratic transition, terrorism with American counterparts

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy will visit Monday with American officials and the Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss Egypt’s democratic transition as well its fight against a terrorist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

According to a statement released by the foreign ministry, Fahmy is “confident” that Egypt is moving in the direction “of building real democracy despite challenges” such as terrorism.

US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed on Friday that Egypt’s democratic transition “will be part of the conversation” when the two senior diplomats meet in Washington DC on Tuesday.

Fahmy will also give a speech to Center for Strategic and International Studies in which he will explicate the post-3-July roadmap and the country’s fight against terrorism.

Fahmy’s visit comes on the heels of an American announcement to resume military aid to Egypt. A statement released by the American Embassy in Washington, DC welcomed the decision “to lift restrictions on some US military assistance to Egypt including the release for transfer of 10 Apache helicopters critical to our fight against extremist terrorist organisations operating in Sinai”.

“This announcement underscores the enduring strategic partnership between our two nations that has been pivotal to preserving regional peace and countering terrorism for thirty years,” the statement read.

However, Sarah Margon, acting Washington director at Human Rights Watch, questioned the clarity of US policy towards Egypt, saying the “administration continues to send very mixed messages about its priorities in Egypt”.

“If mass killings, mass arrests, and mass death sentences are not enough to make clear that freedoms are far from being ‘restored’ in Egypt, what is?” she said.

Fahmy will also discuss political situations in Palestine, Syria and Libya. In recent trips through Africa and Europe, Fahmy has stressed Egypt’s desire to find a political situation to the Syrian civil war, which has recently entered its fourth year.

The foreign minister will also meet leaders of American Jewish organisations to discuss Egypt’s stance on the Palestine-Israel peace talks.

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Al-Jazeera channel's Australian journalist Peter Greste (L) and Egyptian journalist Mohamed Baher stand inside the defendants cage during their trial for allegedly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood at the police institute near Cairo's Tora prison on June 1, 2014. The high-profile case that sparked a global outcry over muzzling of the press is seen as a test of the military-installed government's tolerance of independent media, with activists fearing a return to autocracy three years after the Arab Spring uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. 


UPDATE: Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste out of prison

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