Current US Ambassador to Egypt Ann Patterson, the first US diplomat to serve in Egypt after the 25 January Revolution, has spoken about the US view of Egypt in an interview during her visit to the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo on Thursday, 15 September. The interview tackled a variety of issues regarding the political situation in Egypt.
When asked her impression of the military junta ruling Egypt, Patterson started by saying that “it’s going to be temporary”, highlighting the difference between current military rule in Egypt and in other regions such as Latin America and Pakistan.
“It is very important to remember that the first thing the military leadership here did was to reassure the citizens of this country that they intend to get out of the business of government. They have set a timetable for elections; they have put out an electoral law. It’s very important to note that they want to get out of the business of governing and return to their security duties,” she asserted.
On the issue of the possibility of the Muslim Brotherhood reaching power in Egypt and the US stance on it, Ms Patterson commented that this issue is receiving a lot of attention in the US media, describing that attention as “excessive concerns”.
“I can only quote the secretary of state when she said that we’ll deal with people who are willing to participate in the political process and show commitment to democratic traditions and procedures,” answered Patterson, affirming that the focus should rather be on elections and the parliament.
Another question was about the restoration of emergency laws and their impact on the process of democratic transition in Egypt. Ambassador Patterson responded by mentioning that the Egyptian government has “reiterated” that emergency law will be phased out, reaffirming that it is up to Egyptians to decide how the transition to democracy will proceed.
“We hope the law will be phased out, that is our position, but we see a democratic process on track under the leadership of the military council,” stated Ambassador Patterson.