Dr. Mohamed Morsi, Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Wednesday afternoon, met with Mr. William Burns, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State, at the FJP’s temporary headquarters in Manyal Alrodah.
The discussion between the two sides began with the U.S. official congratulating the FJP on the results achieved by the party in the Egyptian parliamentary elections, stating that his country welcomes the outcome and respects the choice of the Egyptian people, especially since the Egyptian elections were clearly free and fair.
Burns said the United States would support Egypt economically to overcome the country’s current crisis, stressing the importance of Egypt, its leading role in the region, and the positive impact it can have on the region’s various issues.
He stated that his visit is aimed mainly at exploring the FJP’s point of view with respect to the economic situation and the political scene in Egypt and the region at large, noting that his country has economic programs to encourage investment in Egypt and that U.S. President Obama is interested in this issue and is determined to support these programs, asking at the same time the Egyptian authorities to cooperate with international financial institutions, especially International Monetary Fund, and to learn and benefit from the Turkish experience in this regard.
For his part, Dr. Mohamed Morsi welcomed Burns and the U.S. Ambassador in Cairo, Anne Patterson, adding that the FJP believes in the importance of harmony between the various political parties, forces and stakeholders to take Egypt across to shores of safety, security and change for which the Egyptian street erupted in the January 25 revolution.
He explained that the elections which took place in Egypt recently proved the ability of the Egyptian people to effect change, and that the significant participation of the people in the elections’ three stages echoed the people’s choice of the road of democracy as the beginning of change, development and stability in Egypt, especially since the Egyptian people never witnessed real, free and fair elections, supervised by the judiciary, as happened in the latest elections.
With regard to the new Egyptian Constitution, Morsi pointed that there is agreement among all political stakeholders on the first four sections of the existing Constitution, relating to freedoms and rights of citizenship, while section V – on the powers of the President of the Republic, the political system and the development of the armed forces – is the one that needs amendment, and that the FJP believes the mixed presidential/Parliamentary system model is optimal for Egypt in the current transitional period.
Dr. Morsi called on the United States to rethink its strategies and change its policies toward the people in line with the Arab Spring revolutions, and to take more positive positions toward Arab and Islamic issues, because evident bias of U.S. administrations against Arab issues in the past never was in the US’s favour. Morsi added that the FJP is convinced of the importance of Egyptian-American relations, which must be based on balance between both parties.
With regard to the American call for cooperation with international financial institutions, Dr. Morsi said that Egypt is blessed with great resources and prodigious potential, and that stability of the political situation will help create environments attractive for investment, as political stability heralds and fosters economic growth, pointing out that Egypt indeed has the economic infrastructure that helps rejuvenate the private sector, but the instability of the political situation deter investors at this transitional stage.
Dr. Morsi underlined the importance of the role the U.S. administration can play to resolve the Palestinian crisis and stop the attacks on the Palestinian people, as these issued are of great importance in the heart of every Egyptian, including the FJP. He also called on the U.S. administration to take a clearer stance toward the systematic killing of the Syrian people.
The meeting was also attended by the FJP’s Vice Chairman Dr. Essam El-Erian and FJP Assistant Secretary-General Dr. Osama Yassin, as well as the U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson and William Burns’ aides.