Deputy Secretary Burns just concluded a successful visit to Egypt, where he met with a range of senior Egyptian officials, leading political figures, civil society representatives, and members of Egypt’s business community. He had a very constructive meeting with President Morsi, during which he underscored the U.S. commitment to building a new partnership with a new, democratic Egypt. In his meetings, he also stressed the U.S. commitment to tangible initiatives to help Egypt meet its pressing economic concerns, including creating jobs and encouraging investment. He also stressed the importance of President Morsi and the new government taking an inclusive approach going forward, upholding respect for the rights of women and Egyptians of all faiths. He also touched on other topics of mutual interest, including regional security issues.
From Egypt, Deputy Secretary Burns proceeded to Yemen, where he is meeting with Yemeni political leaders and representatives from civil society and the private sector to express the United States firm commitment to supporting the Yemeni Government and people in their democratic transition and full implementation of the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative. The Deputy Secretary will discuss ways to further strengthen U.S.-Yemeni partnership to advance our shared security interests, as well as to address Yemen’s critical humanitarian needs.
The Deputy Secretary will then travel to Jerusalem, where he will meet with senior Israeli officials, as well as Ramallah, where he will meet with Palestinian President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad. He will also lead the U.S. delegation to the U.S.-Israel Strategic Dialogue, where U.S. and Israeli officials will consult on a range of important regional issues of mutual interest.
This week, the Deputy Secretary will also visit Beirut, where he will meet with leading Lebanese political figures to express the United States continued commitment to supporting a stable, sovereign, and independent Lebanon.