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Remarks for Independence Day Celebration

Distinguished guests, your excellencies, Dr. Mahmoud Kamal Esmat Minister of public and business sector, Dr. Aly El Moselhy Minister of supply, Counselor Alaa Eldin Fouad Minister of Parliamentary affairs  fellow Americans and friends.

To begin, I want to thank the Marine Detachment for their splendid presentation of colors and the talented singers Salma Behery and our very own Rachael Haber who performed the national anthems of Egypt and the United States.  It was beautiful.  Thank you.

Many of you are familiar with the customs and traditions of our July 4 celebrations, either through television or personal experiences while visiting or residing in the United States.  In addition to the fireworks and BBQs, it is also a day of reflection, as we recognize our ongoing journey as a nation and as a people.  We continually learn and evolve, drawing from our past to shape a better future.  In this pursuit, our diplomatic missions abroad play a crucial role.

Today, we gather not only to celebrate July 4, but also to recognize the personal and professional friendships and partnerships we have forged that strengthen the enduring bond between the United States and Egypt.  Our two nations have stood side by side in times of peace and challenge, working hand in hand to promote stability, prosperity, and progress in the Middle East and beyond.  One of the fundamental pillars of this partnership is the regular exchange of high-level visits between our leaders.  They symbolize the value both of our countries place on open communication and collaboration, leading to enhanced cooperation in many domains, including economic development, security, and cultural exchange.

Since our previous Independence Day celebration, President Biden, Secretary Blinken, Defense Secretary Austin, and First Lady Jill Biden have all made separate visits to Egypt, underscoring this country’s pivotal role in the region.

These high-level visits – along with those of business, academic, and cultural leaders — communicate to the world that a robust relationship exists between our countries.  However, what often goes unnoticed is the daily effort exerted by the U.S. Mission in Egypt to sustain and improve this relationship for the benefit of both nations. From strengthening our military partnership to fostering economic opportunities and cultural exchange programs, as well as safeguarding Egypt’s precious cultural heritage, the staff at this Mission tirelessly works to promote the bilateral relationship.

Behind the scenes, our staff, for instance, diligently create programs and facilitate opportunities for Egyptian professionals to engage in various academic exchanges in the United States. These programs have proven to be invaluable platforms for professionals to delve into crucial areas such as environmental protection, renewable energy, agricultural modeling, and promoting justice and inclusion. We also work to strengthen our security, with the U.S. and Egyptian militaries conducting over 60 training and other exchanges since 2022.

Prioritizing and encouraging education in Egypt remains a key focus.  Hence, the United States Government has made substantial investments in promoting education within Egypt, including building countless schools and providing teacher training.  Over $1.8 billion spent on education to date.  However, beyond these significant investments regularly provided by the U.S. Embassy through USAID, it is equally important to share our culture through education with Egyptian students.  Earlier this year, our Public Affairs Section organized the first-ever Spelling Bee in Egypt, which saw participation from nearly 1 million students of all age groups from every governorate.  This event made learning English fun for the young participants and provided an opportunity to engage in something quintessentially American right here in Egypt, fostering a true exchange of cultures.

The United States has been Egypt’s largest bilateral partner for decades, and we continue to build on the economic and business relationship between our two countries to create opportunities during these tough economic times that have been generated and exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

We work diligently to strengthen our economic and commercial ties to insure our mutual prosperity.  We are helped in this work by many hundreds of U.S. companies who – as employers, investors, partners, and customers – bring innovation and solutions to help Egypt seize opportunities and solve challenges.  A number of these companies are represented here this evening and kindly made contributions to this event tonight.

Our staff has also worked diligently to ensure the beauty of this country endures for generations to come.  The Egyptian Red Sea Initiative, launched by the U.S. Mission through USAID at COP-27, aims to conserve Egypt’s coastal ecosystem while promoting sustainable ecotourism so that Egyptians and tourists alike can continue to enjoy the Red Sea.

Our relationship is best served when we work together, and this is exactly what was done earlier this year when the Green Sarcophagus was returned to Egypt.  We don’t need to employ Indiana Jones to recover stolen artifacts as proven by the work done by the Homeland Security Investigations office in Cairo and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the famous Green Coffin was rightfully returned to Egypt.  This work between our two countries to make sure that stolen artifacts are returned is just one example of the U.S.’s commitment to preserving Egypt’s history.  When the First Lady visited Egypt, she learned about the U.S. Government’s investment in protecting and preserving the Sphinx from ground water encroachment.  We and the thousands of Americans who travel to Egypt every year respect this country’s magnificent cultural heritage and we are proud that our partnership helps protect these wonders while driving the tourism that is so critical to the economy.

May the U.S.-Egypt friendship continue to thrive, inspiring future generations to collaborate and learn from one another.

I hope everyone enjoys the performance of the Air Force Central Command Band, who will entertain us tonight with some beloved American classics. Furthermore, I extend my gratitude to our numerous sponsors who have made this event possible. (Abbott, Apache, Apex, Cargill, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Cold Stone, Citi, ExxonMobil, GM, J.P. Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Pepsico, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, and Visa)

Thank you and enjoy the night.

Source : usebassy