March 2nd, 2013
08:29 AM ET

Kerry arrives in Egypt

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo at a critical stage as political divisions are preventing crucial economic reform.

In an intense 24-hours on the ground, Kerry has a packed schedule of meetings with Egypt's political and military leadership, business leaders and non-governmental organizations.

"It is very important to the new Egypt for there to be a firm economic foundation on which the new Egypt can operate. It will be important for the government to make an agreement with the [International Monetary Fund]," explains a senior State Department official who briefed reporters on Kerry's plane as he flew from Ankara, Turkey, to Cairo.

Egypt's ability to stabilize extends beyond its needs from the IMF, the official said. "It unlocks a lot of the other money that would come from the U.S., the EU, from the Arab states and also from private investment."

Necessary reforms include increasing tax revenue and reducing energy subsidies, U.S. officials say. But in order to carry out the kind of reforms required for getting IMF money, the official says, "there has to be a basic political agreement among all of the various players in Egypt."

The Obama administration has been stressing to President Mohamed Morsy the importance of political consensus. But not only does Morsy need to build consensus, administration officials say, the various political leadership in Egypt needs to participate, as well.

Kerry, the official says, will not call on the opposition to renounce their boycott of upcoming elections, but he will make clear "If they want to engage, if they want to ensure that their views are taken into account, the only way to do that is to participate."

 

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Filed under: Egypt
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    We're not financialy accountable and don't agree on anything, so where exactly is it our business to tell the Egyptians what to do?

    March 2, 2013 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. justeye

    They can keep him.

    March 2, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    Well said@Jeff Frank.
    The absence of any leadership either from the Congress or the W.H is painfully clear now that the sequester takes effect.
    US Congress has become an embarrassment for us and President Obama did not force them to act. Why?

    March 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    There is a deep distrust of US in the M.East (barring those rulers we pamper) and I have doubts whether Kerry's visit would have any meaningful effect.

    March 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      There was a deep distrust in the ME of the West when I was there 20 years ago.

      March 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    After the invasion of Iraq, Afghan debacle, stance on Iran, Libya,Syria the distrust is now to the extent that it has jeopardized our geo political , economic and strategic interests.

    March 2, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    I spent time there too and remember the way the general public looked up to the US. Our influence was unmistakable.

    March 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat-you are living in the DEEP PAST :)

    Welcome to the present day !!! Switzerland goes socialist? Who really believes this? Dickl Cheny still rules and Mursi ROCKS :)))) LUV YA !

    March 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat-you are living in the far past

    I guess you tink the shaw of Iran was a great monent as well? of course you do – anytime women of the world try to look like "Americans" it makes the worlds most confused women (Americans) "look good" ...does it not?

    March 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. saywhat-you are living in the far past

    sorry about the typos but still learning the English but far ahead of American public schools. FAR AHEAD.

    March 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |