Panetta Urges Egyptian Military to Advance Democratic Process

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2011 — Express­ing “deep con­cern” about raids ear­li­er this week on non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions oper­at­ing in Egypt, Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta empha­sized to the leader of Egypt’s Supreme Coun­cil of the Armed Forces yes­ter­day that it’s time to move the demo­c­ra­t­ic process for­ward.

Speak­ing by phone with Egypt­ian Field Mar­shal Mohamed Hus­sein Tanta­wi, Panet­ta con­demned the Dec. 29 raids and expressed appre­ci­a­tion for Tantawi’s deci­sion to stop them and make it eas­i­er for NGOs to oper­ate in Egypt, Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary George Lit­tle reported. 

Egypt­ian police and judi­cial offi­cials report­ed­ly raid­ed the U.S.-funded Nation­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Insti­tute, Inter­na­tion­al Repub­li­can Insti­tute and Free­dom House Dec. 29, as well as oth­er NGOs that have been crit­i­cal of strong-armed prac­tices by Egypt­ian officials. 

Dur­ing yesterday’s phone call, Panet­ta under­scored the need for the demo­c­ra­t­ic process that began when a pop­u­lar upris­ing oust­ed Pres­i­dent Hos­ni Mubarak in Feb­ru­ary to pro­ceed. “After two suc­cess­ful rounds of par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, the sec­re­tary empha­sized that it is crit­i­cal for Egypt to con­tin­ue on the path to demo­c­ra­t­ic tran­si­tion,” Lit­tle said. 

The sec­re­tary also reaf­firmed the impor­tance of the long­stand­ing U.S.-Egyptian secu­ri­ty rela­tion­ship, Lit­tle said. He “made clear that the Unit­ed States remains com­mit­ted to the strate­gic part­ner­ship and stands ready to coop­er­ate with Egypt as it con­tin­ues its demo­c­ra­t­ic tran­si­tion,” he said. 

Vis­it­ing Cairo in Octo­ber, the sec­re­tary said he has full con­fi­dence in Egypt’s abil­i­ty to trans­form itself to a civil­ian-led democ­ra­cy fol­low­ing 26 years of being ruled under a dis­sent-sup­press­ing emer­gency law. 

Panet­ta said such a tran­si­tion would be a “tremen­dous sig­nal” to the region about mov­ing in a pos­i­tive direction. 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twitter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →