SENATE RESOLUTION 44--SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY, UNIVERSAL RIGHTS, AND THE PEACEFUL TRANSITION TO A REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT IN EGYPT; Congressional Record Vol. 157, No. 16
(Senate - February 03, 2011)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Page S552]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 SENATE RESOLUTION 44--SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY, UNIVERSAL RIGHTS, AND THE 
      PEACEFUL TRANSITION TO A REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT IN EGYPT

  Mr. KERRY (for himself, Mr. McCain, Mr. Graham, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. 
Cardin, Mr. Nelson of Florida, Mr. Durbin, and Mr. Levin) submitted the 
following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

                               S. Res. 44

       Whereas the United States and Egypt have long shared a 
     strong bilateral relationship;
       Whereas Egypt plays an important role in global and 
     regional politics as well as in the broader Middle East and 
     North Africa;
       Whereas Egypt has been, and continues to be, an 
     intellectual and cultural center of the Arab world;
       Whereas on January 25, 2011, demonstrations began across 
     Egypt with thousands of protesters peacefully calling for a 
     new government, free and fair elections, significant 
     constitutional and political reforms, greater economic 
     opportunity, and an end to government corruption;
       Whereas on January 28, 2011, the Government of Egypt shut 
     down Internet and mobile phone networks almost entirely and 
     blocked social networking websites;
       Whereas on January 29, 2011, President Hosni Mubarak 
     appointed Omar Suleiman, former head of the Egyptian General 
     Intelligence Directorate, as Vice President and Ahmed Shafik, 
     former Minister for Civil Aviation, as Prime Minister;
       Whereas the demonstrations have continued, making this the 
     longest protest in modern Egyptian history, and on February 
     1, 2011, millions of protesters took to the streets across 
     the country;
       Whereas hundreds of Egyptians have been killed and injured 
     since the protests began;
       Whereas on February 1, 2011, President Hosni Mubarak 
     announced that he would not run for reelection later this 
     year, but widespread protests against his government 
     continue;
       Whereas on February 1, 2011, President Barack Obama called 
     for an orderly transition, stating that it ``must be 
     meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now.'' He 
     also affirmed that: ``The process must include a broad 
     spectrum of Egyptian voices and opposition parties. It should 
     lead to elections that are free and fair. And it should 
     result in a government that's not only grounded in democratic 
     principles, but is also responsive to the aspirations of the 
     Egyptian people.'';
       Whereas despite President Hosni Mubarak's pledge in 2005 
     that Egypt's controversial emergency law would be used only 
     to fight terrorism and that he planned to abolish the state 
     of emergency and adopt new antiterrorism legislation as an 
     alternative, in May 2010, the Government of Egypt again 
     extended the emergency law, which has been in place 
     continuously since 1981, for another 2 years, giving police 
     broad powers of arrest and allowing indefinite detention 
     without charge;
       Whereas the Department of State's 2009 Human Rights Report 
     notes with respect to Egypt, ``[t]he government's respect for 
     human rights remained poor, and serious abuses continued in 
     many areas. The government limited citizens' right to change 
     their government and continued a state of emergency that has 
     been in place almost continuously since 1967.'';
       Whereas past elections in Egypt, including the most recent 
     November 2010 parliamentary elections, have seen serious 
     irregularities at polling and counting stations, security 
     force intimidation and coercion of voters, and obstruction of 
     peaceful political rallies and demonstrations; and
       Whereas any election must be honest and open to all 
     legitimate candidates and conducted without interference from 
     the military or security apparatus and under the oversight of 
     international monitors: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) acknowledges the central and historic importance of the 
     United States-Egyptian strategic partnership in advancing the 
     common interests of both countries, including peace and 
     security in the broader Middle East and North Africa;
       (2) reaffirms the United States' commitment to the 
     universal rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, 
     and freedom of access to information, including the Internet, 
     and expresses strong support for the people of Egypt in their 
     peaceful calls for a representative and responsive democratic 
     government that respects these rights;
       (3) condemns any efforts to provoke or instigate violence, 
     and calls upon all parties to refrain from all violent and 
     criminal acts;
       (4) supports freedom of the press and strongly condemns the 
     intimidation, targeting, or detention of journalists.
       (5) urges the Egyptian military to demonstrate maximum 
     professionalism and restraint, and emphasizes the importance 
     of working to peacefully restore calm and order while 
     allowing for free and non-violent freedom of expression;
       (6) calls on President Mubarak to immediately begin an 
     orderly and peaceful transition to a democratic political 
     system, including the transfer of power to an inclusive 
     interim caretaker government, in coordination with leaders 
     from Egypt's opposition, civil society, and military, to 
     enact the necessary reforms to hold free, fair, and 
     internationally credible elections this year;
       (7) affirms that a real transition to a legitimate 
     representative democracy in Egypt requires concrete steps to 
     be taken as soon as possible, including lifting the state of 
     emergency, allowing Egyptians to organize independent 
     political parties without interference, enhancing the 
     transparency of governmental institutions, restoring judicial 
     supervision of elections, allowing credible international 
     monitors to observe the preparation and conduct of elections, 
     and amending the laws and Constitution of Egypt as necessary 
     to implement these and other critical reforms;
       (8) pledges full support for Egypt's transition to a 
     representative democracy that is responsive to the needs of 
     the Egyptian people, and calls on all nations to support the 
     people of Egypt as they work to conduct a successful 
     transition to democracy;
       (9) expresses deep concern over any organization that 
     espouses an extremist ideology, including the Muslim 
     Brotherhood, and calls upon all political movements and 
     parties in Egypt, including an interim government, to affirm 
     their commitment to non-violence and the rule of law, the 
     equal rights of all individuals, accountable institutions of 
     justice, religious tolerance, peaceful relations with Egypt's 
     neighbors, and the fundamental principles and practices of 
     democracy, including the regular conduct of free and fair 
     elections;
       (10) underscores the vital importance of any Egyptian 
     Government continuing to fulfill its international 
     obligations, including its commitments under the Egypt-Israel 
     Peace Treaty signed on March 26, 1979 and the freedom of 
     navigation through the Suez Canal; and
       (11) ensures that United States assistance to the Egyptian 
     Government, military, and people will advance the goal of 
     ensuring respect for the universal rights of the Egyptian 
     people and will further the national security interests of 
     the United States in the region.

                          ____________________