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Hagel offers to assist in investigations of terrorist attacks - Daily News Egypt

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Hagel offers to assist in investigations of terrorist attacks

Egyptian foreign minister indicates Egypt-US relations are moving in the right direction, but are not ideal

An Egyptian man takes photographs at the site of a powerful car bomb explosion in the Egyptian city of Mansura, North of Cairo, on December 24, 2013. The bombing tore through a police building in Mansura early today, killing at least 14 people, an attack the authorities said was aimed at derailing the country's transition to democracy.  (AFP PHOTO/MAHMOUD KHALED)
An Egyptian man takes photographs at the site of a powerful car bomb explosion in Mansura on December 24, 2013.

United States Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel offered his department’s assistance in investigating recent terrorist attacks in Egypt in a phone call with his Egyptian counterpart on Sunday.

Hagel discussed the explosions that took place in Mansoura, Nasr City, and Sharqia with Egyptian Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, according to the US defence department.

“Secretary Hagel expressed his condolences for the loss of life and injuries from the bombings,” said the US department’s press secretary in a statement. “The secretary condemned the attacks and offered the assistance of the Department of Defence to help the Egyptian government investigate the attacks.”

The two sides discussed the “balance between security and freedom” and Hagel “stressed the role of political inclusiveness in the democratic process”.

The statement added that Hagel expressed “concerns” about Egypt’s political climate ahead of the constitutional referendum, slated to take place mid-January, also mentioning the “continued enforcement of a restrictive demonstrations law”.

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy, on Monday, said that Egypt’s relationship with the United States was “troubled, and then began moving in the right direction especially when US Secretary of State John Kerry last visited Egypt”.

The minister added that the two countries had not yet reached the fully restored relations.

“The Egypt’s foreign moves are part of a strategy of ‘diversification of options’,” added Fahmy, who said that visits to countries including Russia and China were part of Egypt’s independent decision to do so and “not a reaction to any third party, adding that there would be “tangible results soon” following recent visits from Egyptian delegations to various countries.

Last week, Kerry expressed his concern to Fahmy over the Egyptian cabinet’s decision to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation, also raising issues of “recent detentions and arrests” according to a statement issued by the state department.

Kerry also condemned the bombing of the Daqahlia Security Directorate in Mansoura and another attack in Nasr City and expressed his condolences to the victims of the explosions.

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  • sam enslow

    This FM forgets that Americans also have a say in what the relationship will be between the two countries, especially a group he ignores, the American taxpayer. The FM has seen, along with the Egyptian media, to insult the US with every utterance thus insulting the American people. Aid to Egypt comes from their pockets. Egyptians always complain it is so little. Never say, “Thanks,” but ascribe every nefarious motive to it. They complain about any US press coverage (not government controlled like in Egypt) that says more than, ‘The great people of Egypt.” Of course, Egyptians feel nothing about commenting on the internal affairs of the US or any other country. Then they complain about US double standards.
    Of course most of the complaints are for Egyptian public consumption. The big thing for second rate governments is to “stand up to America.” But even the Egyptian press cannot ignore the amount of coordination and discussion between General Sisi and officials in the US government.
    Nile TV is perhaps among the worst at anti-US commentary. I have never heard such garbage! But no one calls them out on it. This is a channel designed to be listened to by foreigners. The current theme is that all the problems in Egypt and the Arab world are designed by the US to benefit it and, naturally, Israel. Forget the fact the chaos benefits no one. Israel has had few if any real problems with the stable countries in the Middle East. It is the terrorist groups in the unstable countries that cause the most serious problems. For decades Israel has coordinated activities with Saudi Arabia and Syria, and has been at peace with Egypt and Jordan. Facts ignored by the Arab media. Israel and the US disagree on what to do with Iran. Another Nile TV narrative has been how Obama was forced not to attack Syria. This too is nonsense. Had Obama wanted to bomb Syria, he did NOT need Congress to approve the action in advance. He was following Teddy Roosevelt’s, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Chemical weapons are being removed from Syria. He got exactly what he wanted. But never allow the Egyptian press to suggest the US ever does anything right. Every anti-American rumor, no matter how far fetched, finds voice on Nile TV, a station designed in part to serve tourists and potential investors. When Morsy was elected, the Egyptian media, including Nile TV, said the US would not work with Morsy because the Egyptians had elected “the wrong person.” They pointed to Hamas (then great freedom fighters to Egyptians) who were elected in Gaza but branded a terrorist organization. But when Morsy became unpopular, he was a tool of the Americans, but no proofs of this support (beyond the necessity for the US to work with the elected government) have been given. It is just easier to blame others for Egypt’s problems and choices. In fact, it is not important who caused Egypt’s problems. The question should be (totally ignored) is how Egypt will solve these problems.
    Egypt seems to be content to go begging to its neighbors and to pretend the money coming from Arab countries comes without strings. Saudi Arabia is buying the use of the Egyptian army. Anyone notice that when the rich Arab states say, Go to war,” they mean, “Egyptians, go fight and die. We will give you baksheesh.” Desert Storm is forgotten? The Egyptian government(s) are terrified that Saudi Arabia and other rich states will send Egyptian workers home, but not worried enough to develop Egypt’s economy. Nile TV was so proud to say that Saudi Arabia has been allotted many thousands of fedan for investments in agriculture. No one asks who will benefit from the food produced.
    The current climate of US/Egypt relations is a shame and unnecessary. I include Egypt’s attitude to the EU here too. The US and EU have real respect for the Egypt of January 25 and Tahrir Square. But Egypt has yet to accept the realities of the 25 January Revolution. “We have the Egyptian way of doing things” is an excuse for not reforming anything. The fun and games that are a part and parcel of Egyptian business, the lack of the rule of law, corruption, red tape, etc. are all known to potential US and EU investors – and to Egyptian investors. If Egyptians know it is not safe to invest in Egypt, others are too ignorant to see the problems?
    A look at Egypt’s history will show that it has thrived when it has been open and cosmopolitan. Egypt could be a great nation again if it will start looking toward the future – not the past. It needs to work with its friends and deal with economic and political realities. Egyptian problems were caused by Egyptians. Egyptians can learn and can work their way out of the current mess if it wants. I often hear that Obama doesn’t understand what is happening in Egypt. When I am in coffee houses, I hear Egyptians say they do not understand what is happening in Egypt. What is true today is false tomorrow. In the streets, but not in the media, the most common remark made is, “We had a revolution and nothing changed.” Shame.
    When the Western Media or official comment on events in Egypt and warn of dangers ahead, they are not against Egypt. Often they are seeing patterns seen before and expressing concern. The events in Egypt during the last three years are an old movie often replayed. Those commenting are attempting for the most part to avoid mistakes they themselves made. They would like nothing more than to be able to write and comment about Egypt’s democratic and economic miracle.

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