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US envoy in Egypt blasts state newspaper Al-Ahram
US ambassador Anne Patterson vehemently denies article published in state daily Al-Ahram accusing her of plotting to destabilise Egypt
Ahram Online , Thursday 29 Aug 2013
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Egypt
US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson (Photo: Reuters).

The United States’ ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, has sent a strongly-worded letter to the editor of Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram criticising a front page article that suggested Patterson was engaging in conspiracies with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Editor-in-chief Abdel Nasser Salama, who wrote the article published on Tuesday, accused Patterson in the article of conspiring with leading Brotherhood figure Khairat El-Shater to “spread chaos” in Egypt through smuggling fighters from Gaza to “hit the country’s stability.”

In her letter, Patterson attacked Al-Ahram for spreading what she said was false and misleading information.

“I am writing to adamantly deny the outrageous, fictitious, and thoroughly unprofessional headline article that appeared in your paper on August 27,” she wrote in a letter published by the US embassy in Cairo’s website.

Addressing Salama, Patterson said: “Your article’s claim that I personally am involved in a conspiracy to divide and destabilise Egypt is absolutely absurd and dangerous.”

She added saying that the “irresponsibility of this article only serves to further misinform and misguide your readership, and to further raise tensions in an already perilously tense environment.”

Egypt has been undergoing a long period of instability after the removal Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed Morsi from the presidency in July by the military after mass protests against his rule.

The Al-Ahram article also accused the United States and other unspecified European countries of being complicit in a plan by Islamists to declare Upper Egypt independent from the government in Cairo.

It said both plans – the secession of the south and that of spreading chaos – were thwarted by security forces. In the article, Salama quoted unnamed security sources as the source of the information.

Patterson warned Salama that such “fiction” threatens the prospects of Egypt’s democratisation. “Make no mistake – false articles such as this one are a real threat to Egypt and to prospects for Egypt’s democratic transition,” she wrote.

Patterson also said that she will discuss the issue with Egyptian government officials.

“I am particularly disturbed to think that Al-Ahram, as the flagship state-run paper in Egypt, is regarded as a representative of the government’s viewpoint. We will, therefore, raise this article at the highest levels of the government,” she asserted.

Ambassador Anne Patterson's assignment in Egypt ended this week. She is expected to leave the country on Friday.

Patterson was appointed as US ambassador to Egypt in June 2011. In recent months she has faced regular accusations by opponents of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi of being biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Al-Ahram daily is published by the state-owned Al-Ahram publishing house, which also produces the Ahram Online website.





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goris
02-09-2013 05:30pm
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the ambasador has the point Al-ahram has the reality.
on the atitude of the aerican takin g side of the MB of course the intelectual of Al-Ahram can easily read through the transparant curtains what is in side the window of the Embasy's room. The event in Egyipt is so emotional and the outsiders close the windows for the truth of the case by puting all the blames on the militery while forget the millions of egyiptians who poured out vehemnently into the street and corners of Egyipt to give the legitimacy of needed people's power and to spell out the true situation.Outsiders forget to acknowledge the gentle appeal by the security leader to the MBs to disperse peacefully and the response was: they want to die and better to die.
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5



Michel Goubran
30-08-2013 08:31pm
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Anne Patterson
I did read both articles and I am inclined to believe Al Ahram editor. Ms Patterson was the most traveled and energetic ambassador within Egypt for unknown purposes. She was seen numerous times meeting Al Shater ( now in prison, rightfully so ) in his office. Normally people meet with ambassadors in their embassy. Being aware of the feelings of the Egyptian people towards her she did well getting her stay to an end and if she had nothing to hide a news conference, stated where she stands and most important answered all the press questions. I would be out of line if I said to her " Good riddens " At the State Department or wherever the hell she wants to "raise" the Ahram article to they should know: 1- it is utter blindness of their part to have given her the order to or approve what she was doing. 2- single handedly she manage to alienate the Egyptian people against the US people who already do not agree with the current administration destructive, provocative and surveillance activities. 2- She insulted all her host country by calling the mother of all world revolutions "mass protests" 3- We are sorry her finances got into trouble when her friend & associate millionaire Al Shater was incarcerated but I am sure she can return to Egypt with a regular US citizen passport, inquire about the visiting times, buy some foul & falafel sorry I meant some truffles, smoked salmon and caviar, and visit with him and continue their arm deals. 4- The only thing which saved her skin is that she represents a foreign country which WAS friendly with us, it is not her private guards nor the marines! God bless Egypt
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4



tatek ghaly
30-08-2013 09:20am
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us ambassador should leave quietley
My comment is "no comment" We are in support of Al Ahram This is ourv view from Australia
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3



Beth (US)
30-08-2013 04:35am
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human being
I appreciate that Ahramonline English is relatively free from editorial bias. Apparently, your parent paper is not so, too bad. I hope you will keep up the good work, for there are few trustworthy sources for news about Egypt yet you are one of these, IMHO. I don't expect to see Ahramonline completely free of error. After all, if your trusted sources lie to you, of course, your articles may be at fault, but it does seem to me you have very high standards of journalistic excellence. Please carry on and do not worry about what Anne Patterson had to say about your parent paper.
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2



Jon
29-08-2013 11:38pm
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Egyptian foreigner paranoia
Since the January 25th revolution, many Egyptians believe that foreigners are somehow deeply involved in everything that happens. Remember the Israeli-American student Ilan Grapel who allegedly tried to incite violence amongst Egyptian protesters with the goal of sparking a face-off with the military and spread chaos in Egypt? Quite an achievement for a 27 year old, travelling alone into the country. For two and a half years, the country has been in a state of upheaval. The military was ousted, the brotherhood came in, then the military is back. Thousands are killed, the tourist industry bleed, museums are looted, churches burned. It is very hard for people to make sense of all this, and they tend to welcome information about foreigners being to blame. Because it prevents them from admitting the obvious: The chaos and bloodshed is a totally home made Egyptian mess.
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Michel Goubran
30-08-2013 08:48pm
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Egyptian Foreigners Paranoia
I certainly do not agree with the writer, Egyptian suffer from too much foreign interference in their own affairs. Secondly about the Israeli spies, they do not go along in groups and they can be anyone suspect until proven otherwise. I am asking the writer if the same problems would happen in his country ( no needed comment about the IF ) would his country have accepted an Egyptian delegation to come in and try to or dictate how to solve the problem?
1



Chuck Frown, London
29-08-2013 08:55pm
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Dishonest media
I think the Egyptian media has lost every iota of credibility it used to have. I will not believe any thing said or published by the Egyptian media from now on. This media is probably the most mendacious anywhere in the world. Shame!
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