صدى البلد البلد سبورت قناة صدى البلد صدى البلد جامعات صدى البلد عقارات
Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

US Ambassador Praises Partnership Btw Cairo, Washington

Wed 22 May 2024 | 09:44 PM
Herro Mustafa Garg
Herro Mustafa Garg
Nada Mustafa

US ambassador to Cairo Herro Mustafa Garg made a speech during a celebration, held to mark 248th anniversary of the United States' independence.

During her speech, Garg hailed strategic partnership and friendship ties between Cairo and Washington.

●'SEENews' publishes full extract of US Ambassador's speech: 

"Good evening and thank you all for joining us in celebrating the 248th anniversary of the United States' independence.

The reason we are gathered here today is to mark the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. We are celebrating early this year to avoid the summer heat, but we are still experiencing a heatwave this week! How are you all doing?

Tonight is truly about celebrating the enduring partnership and friendship between the United States and Egypt. I am delighted to welcome our distinguished guests, colleagues, and friends, His Excellency Minister of Aviation Mohamed Abbas Helmy, Dr. Mohamed Kamal Esmat Minister of the Public Business Sector, Minister of Health Dr. Adel Abdel Ghaffar, and Minister of Supply Ali El-Moselhy, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Alaa El-Din Fouad, and Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir. 

We are also joined tonight by colleagues from various sectors of the Egyptian government, as well as from the media, leading educational institutions, the arts and cultural organizations, and the business community. 

I would also like to thank our colleagues in the diplomatic corps who represent their countries here in Egypt. Thank you all for sharing this special occasion with us and for the ongoing partnership.

Allow me to extend a special thanks to the American University in Cairo for hosting us at their beautiful campus. We chose this location for two reasons: the first movie I ever saw in Arabic was "Saidi in America".

In fact, I sometimes feel like a Saidi myself because I am originally from a rural area in America, but now I am in the Land of the Nile!

I loved the movie so much that I thought this would be the perfect place to host the celebration. And of course, the American University in Cairo has served as a symbol of academic excellence and U.S.-Egypt cooperation since its founding.

As for our sponsors who are supporting tonight's celebration - you are the true heroes. Thank you for your generosity and commitment to strengthening the bonds between our two countries.

Finally, let me thank my colleagues at the U.S. Embassy for their dedication to supporting the U.S.-Egypt partnership tonight and always. You are all the lifeline of this relationship, and it is an honor to work with you every day.

This is my first Independence Day celebration as the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt. Independence Day holds a special meaning for me and for all Americans. It embodies the values that our nation stands for – those of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," as the Declaration of Independence puts it.

While I cannot compare my experience to those in Gaza and Sudan, I understand the pain and fear that comes from experiencing war and displacement.

I was three years old when I arrived in North Dakota on the Great Plains of the United States with my family as refugees from Iraqi Kurdistan. Our journey was not easy, and I am grateful to my parents for making the decision to bring us to the United States.

Even though I spoke little English, I understood the meaning of "liberty" and that it allowed me to have hopes and dreams in the United States.

I believe that everyone should have the freedom and dignity to pursue their hopes and dreams. We also recognize that achieving peace in the Middle East is not possible without the partnership we have with our regional partners. This year has once again made clear how Egypt is an indispensable partner in our efforts to create a more stable and prosperous region. From Gaza to Sudan to Libya, Egypt's contributions to regional security and stability are extraordinary, and we look forward to continuing our partnership on these issues.

But the partnership between our two countries is much deeper. The U.S. investment in people – Egyptians and Americans working side by side – is the heart of our partnership. Americans and Egyptians are collaborating every day to promote economic prosperity, strengthen education, expand access to healthcare and clean water, preserve cultural heritage, and provide English language and job skills training to thousands of young Egyptians.

I would like to elaborate on a few of these topics, which are just a small part of the wide range of investment and engagement by the American people in Egypt. Education, for example, remains a cornerstone of our partnership. USAID's education portfolio stands at $600 million, making it the largest U.S. higher education program in the world.

Last year alone, we also provided scholarships to nearly 1,400 talented men and women from underserved communities to study at leading Egyptian universities in fields that contribute to the growth and development of a sustainable economy. I was inspired by meeting the students who are full of dreams, and my team and I are excited to support those aspirations through exchange programs, scholarships, and English language training. 

The United States is the leading destination for higher education, and I am committed to seeing more Egyptian students complete their education there, not only for their own personal benefit, but also to promote mutual understanding between our peoples.

 I am equally committed to bringing more American students to Egypt, and building those personal experiences and connections that keep our relationship strong.

We are creating opportunities for Egyptians and Americans to form unique cultural connections to sustain our partnership through arts, music, and sports. 

We were thrilled to support the visit of the American beatbox group The Beatbox House to Egypt for a series of performances across the country, including fusion performances with renowned Egyptian groups Downtown and Sharmoofers. And I am pleased to announce that we are organizing a tour to Egypt by the Harlem Globetrotters, who will arrive next week for performances in Cairo on May 31 and Alexandria on June 1.

And by the way, the Harlem Globetrotters are as famous in the United States as Al-Ahly and Zamalek are in Egypt. Speaking of sports, I want to say "Congratulations to Zamalek," and we should all cheer for Al-Ahly in its match against Tunisia on Saturday.

On the economic side, in addition to our private sector partnerships that are well represented here tonight, we are working together to continue to support Egypt's distinguished tourism sector. Last year, we proudly opened the new visitor center at the Imam al-Shafi'i Mausoleum in the City of the Dead. It is the latest of our $100 million investments in strong partnerships to preserve iconic sites such as the Luxor Temples, the Sphinx and Giza Plateau, and Bab Zuweila – just a few of the famous destinations that millions of visitors celebrate each year.

  Our security partnership is similarly built on mutual respect, trust, and cooperation. In 2023, the United States and Egypt co-hosted the largest-ever iteration of the biennial Bright Star exercise, which included 34 participating nations. Bright Star is the oldest multilateral military exercise in the Middle East and Africa, dating back to 1980, and it is a perfect testament to our partnership in maintaining stability in the region.

And tying all of these themes together – education, economic prosperity, and security – is our work together to protect the Red Sea, perhaps the most important waterway in the world for global commerce and a vibrant ecosystem that includes some of Egypt's most stunning marine and wildlife. I recently had the opportunity to visit Marsa Alam and Hurghada, where I saw with my own eyes the pristine waters, the marine life, and the immense potential to mitigate the effects of climate change.

"How sweet is my country," indeed Egypt is beautiful!

Building on the momentum and inspiration from the COP27 climate conference, I commend the ongoing work of Egyptian civil society, the private sector, and the government to invest in preserving Egypt's ecosystem while finding ways to develop the region sustainably for future generations.

As friends, I am incredibly pleased to work with all of you to build on this important partnership. Please join me in raising a glass to the United States, Egypt, and our partnership!"