On Saturday, March 2, Secretary of State John Kerry departed Turkey for Egypt, where this past weekend he met with representatives across the spectrum of Egyptian political and civil society -- as well as our employees at the U.S. Embassy. The Secretary's candor in all of his meetings was refreshing for politicians and businessmen alike. In his meetings, Secretary Kerry conveyed a simple but serious message: "The brave Egyptians who stood vigil in Tahrir Square did not risk their lives to see that opportunity for a brighter future squandered. The Egyptian people must come together to address their economic challenge."
In light of Egypt's urgent needs and President Morsy's assurance that he plans to complete the IMF process, Secretary Kerry announced that the United States will now provide the first $190 million of our pledged $450 million in budget support funds in an effort to help the Egyptian people at this difficult time. The United States is also committed to providing direct support to key engines of democratic change in Egypt, including Egypt's entrepreneurs and its young people. To that end, Secretary Kerry announced the launch of the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund and that the United States will fund a higher education initiative to help students, especially women, earn undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and business.
The Secretary's visit also proved to be a great morale boost to the embassy employees who lined up for photos and handshakes. You can follow the Secretary's travel to Europe and the Middle East on www.state.gov.