Casey, Levin, Coons Urge State Department to Emphasize Importance of Peace with Israel in Talks with Egypt

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlining their concern about the political crisis in Egypt and urging that all conversations with Egyptian officials and opposition leaders express the fact that Egypt’s peace with Israel is a vital U.S. and regional security interest.

“With new freedoms, come new responsibilities for the future leaders and Government of Egypt,” the Senators wrote.  “During this period of transition, we believe that the U.S. should send a strong message to key Egyptian leaders and members of the opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood, that Egypt's international obligations must be respected during a political transition and beyond.    Specifically, it is imperative that Egypt maintains its historic commitment to peace with Israel, as agreed to in the Camp David Accords, and that the Egyptian military and security forces ensure security on the border with Gaza.”

The Senators also stressed their belief that the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people must be addressed.  This includes the right to free expression and access to information and the Senators strongly support the administration’s calls on the Egyptian government to lift ongoing restrictions on Internet access, as well as cell phones and other means of communication. 

Full text of the letter is below.


Dear Secretary Clinton:

We are writing to express our concern about the political crisis in Egypt.  We appreciate the administration's efforts to navigate this dynamic period and support the democratic and peaceful aspirations of the Egyptian people.  We are particularly concerned about the recent surge of violence, and support the administration’s concerted effort to encourage a political outcome to the crisis resulting in sustainable reform.

With new freedoms, come new responsibilities for the future leaders and Government of Egypt.  During this period of transition, we believe that the U.S. should send a strong message to key Egyptian leaders and members of the opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood, that Egypt's international obligations must be respected during a political transition and beyond.   

Specifically, it is imperative that Egypt maintains its historic commitment to peace with Israel, as agreed to in the Camp David Accords, and that the Egyptian military and security forces ensure security on the border with Gaza.  It is our sincere hope that all conversations with Egyptian officials and opposition leaders express the fact that Egypt’s peace with Israel is a vital U.S. and regional security interest.  We urge that this message is conveyed as a central theme in all U.S. interactions with opposition figures, both public and private.  

At this critical juncture, we believe the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people must be addressed.  This includes the right to free expression and access to information, and we strongly support the administration’s calls on the Egyptian government to lift ongoing restrictions on Internet access, as well as cell phones and other means of communication. 

Thank you for your efforts to support a peaceful transition in Egypt.  We look forward to continuing a dialogue on encouraging political reform at this historic moment in the Middle East. 

Sincerely,

 
Senator Casey
Senator Levin
Senator Coons

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