"We Want To See the Universal Rights of the Egyptian People Respected"

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 10, 2011
Protestor Gestures at Tahrir Square in Cairo

On February 9, 2011, Jake Sullivan, Deputy Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Clinton, and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes held a special briefing to discuss Egypt. Mr. Rhodes said:

"Let me just start by saying that we've had three kind of clear messages throughout this situation in Egypt since the protests began. The first is that we wanted to see nonviolence. So we've been sending a very clear message in public and in private that violence and suppression is not the way through this period of protest and change in Egypt, and we've been urging the government to show restraint and urging protests to be peaceful.

"Second, that we want to see the universal rights of the Egyptian people respected. That includes the right to assembly, the right to information including access to information over the internet and social media and cell phones, and that any process going forward has to respect the universal rights of the Egyptian people.

"And third, that we believe that this has to be a period of political change in Egypt, that we support an orderly transition in Egypt that is meaningful, lasting, and legitimate. And that transition must begin without delay and produce immediate, irreversible progress that the people of Egypt can see and that they are demanding."

Mr. Sullivan added, "...The principles and policies that Ben just outlined have underpinned not just our public messaging but also the private conversations that we've been having through an aggressive diplomatic outreach strategy with friends around the world, including our European friends, with regional partners, and with people inside and outside of government in Egypt. And that strategy has been carried out with a number of calls being made by the President and the Vice President. The Secretary has been on the phone with many of her counterparts and had consultations with many of them in Munich this past weekend.

"And then at all levels of the State Department -- Under Secretary Burns, Assistant Secretary Feltman, and other are on the phone around the clock, conveying these same messages and encouraging others who have influence and relationships in Egypt to stress these points with the Egyptian Government and to make clear in their public statements the same basic messages of supporting the universal rights of the Egyptian people, of calling for there to be no violence and an end to the harassment and detentions, and for the need for political change in Egypt. And that exercise is something that continues today. It will continue in the days ahead as we follow this process and engage in this kind of diplomatic approach."

Read the full transcript of the briefing here.



Tim W.
Alabama, USA
February 10, 2011

Tim W. in Alabama writes:

Enforceable accountability knows no borders..Universal Declaration of Human Rights applies worldwide.

The USA needs to be in the ICC. The USA needs to agree to CEDAW, and to Doha Accords. If the US wants to project moral authority, then it needs to participate fully in international organizations such as ICC.

Brookwood, Alabama, USA

Stephen B.
Tennessee, USA
February 10, 2011

Stephen B. in Tennessee writes:

I am glad that we support the rights of the Egyptian people, but we must be careful. There are some in the movement that have expressed that they do not support religious freedom in the New Egypt. A CNN broadcast showed some of the protesters carrying signs with the Star of David and images of Pope Benedict XVI crossed out as if to say Jew and Christians are not welcome. We must stand firm that the new regime include religious freedom in the democratic movement. Christians of the Coptic Church have been the subject of numerous persecutions. Remember the bombing of the Coptic church in Alexandria just a few days before the protests began.

South Korea
February 10, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

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