SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS
(Senate - April 03, 2017)

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[Pages S2177-S2178]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                         SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS

                                 ______
                                 

SENATE RESOLUTION 108--REAFFIRMING THE COMMITMENT OF THE UNITED STATES 
                 TO THE UNITED STATES-EGYPT PARTNERSHIP

  Mr. CARDIN (for himself, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Kaine, Mr. Young, and Mr. 
Menendez) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the 
Committee on Foreign Relations:

                              S. Res. 108

       Whereas after almost four decades of close cooperation, the 
     United States-Egypt partnership has been built on shared 
     objectives and interests with enduring bipartisan support in 
     Congress;
       Whereas the Government and people of Egypt play a critical 
     role in global and regional politics;
       Whereas the United States-Egypt partnership is vital for 
     the peace, stability, and prosperity of the Middle East;
       Whereas Egypt has been an intellectual and cultural center 
     of the Arab world, and continues to be an important country 
     based on its geography, demography, and historic leadership 
     role;
       Whereas Egypt remains one of the top recipients of United 
     States foreign assistance worldwide, having received 
     $77,000,000,000 in bilateral foreign aid from the United 
     States, including $1,300,000,000 per year in military aid;
       Whereas Egypt's 1979 peace treaty with Israel remains one 
     of the most significant diplomatic achievements for the 
     promotion of Arab-Israeli peace;
       Whereas for almost forty years, Egypt, Israel, and the 
     United States have collaborated to counter terrorism, prevent 
     illicit smuggling, and enhance regional stability;
       Whereas the United States has welcomed Egypt's 
     participation in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS;
       Whereas Egypt and the United States held a Strategic 
     Dialogue in Cairo, Egypt on August 2, 2015, based on the 
     shared commitment to deepen the bilateral relationship;
       Whereas Egypt can play an important role in facilitating 
     negotiated settlements to end the conflicts in Libya, Syria, 
     and Yemen, restarting the Middle East Peace Process, and 
     defeating ISIS;
       Whereas the Egyptian people continue to be the victims of 
     heinous terrorist attacks, including the December 11, 2016, 
     ISIS bombing of the Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, 
     which killed 28 people including women and children;
       Whereas the Government of Egypt reached an agreement with 
     the International Monetary Fund in November 2016 to take 
     important steps toward economic stabilization, such as 
     liberalizing its foreign exchange system and reducing costly 
     fuel subsidies;
       Whereas President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in a televised 
     interview on September 16, 2016, said that he is very 
     committed to preserving human rights in Egypt and that Egypt 
     will not return to tyranny;
       Whereas the Department of State's 2016 Country Reports on 
     Human Rights Practices notes, with respect to Egypt, that--
       (1) ``[t]he most significant human rights problems were 
     excessive use of force by security forces, deficiencies in 
     due process, and the suppression of civil liberties'';
       (2) ``[t]here were numerous reports that the government [of 
     Egypt] or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings 
     while making arrests or holding persons in custody'';
       (3) ``[c]onditions in the prisons and detention centers 
     were harsh and potentially life-threatening due to 
     overcrowding, physical abuse, inadequate medical care, poor 
     infrastructure, and poor ventilation''; and
       (4) ``[s]everal international and local human rights groups 
     . . . reported a spike in enforced disappearances [in Egypt], 
     alleging authorities increasingly relied on this tactic to 
     intimidate critics'';
       Whereas credible local organizations estimate that 
     thousands of people are detained solely for political reasons 
     in Egypt, including for peacefully protesting or calling for 
     a change in government;
       Whereas in March 2017, President el-Sisi pardoned 203 
     prisoners many of whom had been jailed for taking part in 
     protests;
       Whereas United States citizen Aya Hijazi, her husband 
     Mohammed Hassanein, and other members of the Belady 
     Foundation have been unjustly imprisoned in Egypt since May 
     2014;
       Whereas the Parliament of Egypt's passage of legislation 
     restricting the work of nongovernmental organizations 
     undermines Egypt's stated commitment to protecting 
     constitutionally guaranteed rights and to furthering Egypt's 
     democratic transition;
       Whereas the media is regularly harassed by Egyptian 
     authorities and Egypt was the world's third-highest jailer of 
     journalists in 2016, according to the Committee to Protect 
     Journalists;
       Whereas respect for democracy, inclusive governance, human 
     rights, and civil liberties have been core pillars of United 
     States foreign policy since at least the 1970s;
       Whereas Egypt will ensure its security, economic 
     prosperity, and transition to democracy by protecting the 
     constitutionally guaranteed rights of all Egyptians;
       Whereas the last official visit to the United States by an 
     Egyptian head of state was in August 2009;
       Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to the 
     United States;
       (2) expresses hope that President el-Sisi's visit will open 
     a new chapter in United States-Egyptian relations as both 
     sides pledge to work toward greater cooperation based on 
     shared interests and values;
       (3) acknowledges the central and historic importance of the 
     United States-Egypt partnership in advancing the common 
     interests of both countries;
       (4) hopes that President el-Sisi will highlight in public 
     statements the value of ties between the United States and 
     Egypt;
       (5) recognizes that Egypt faces legitimate security threats 
     and expresses condolences for the loss of life suffered by 
     the Egyptian people in attacks by violent extremist 
     organizations;
       (6) stands with the Egyptian people as they confront 
     violent extremism and threats on land and sea borders;
       (7) appreciates Egypt's regional role as a partner and 
     mediator;
       (8) recognizes the necessity for Egypt's leaders to take 
     steps toward genuine political reform that prioritizes human 
     rights, fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law;
       (9) demands the immediate release of unjustly imprisoned 
     American citizens, including Aya Hijazi, who has been 
     detained in Egypt since May 2014 on unsubstantiated charges;
       (10) demands an immediate end to the harassment and 
     interference in the operations of independent civil society 
     and media organizations in Egypt, including the closure of 
     Case 173 and the revision of Egypt's nongovernmental 
     organization law in accordance with international best 
     practices;
       (11) encourages the United States and Egypt to increase 
     cooperation--
       (A) to combat terrorism in a manner consistent with 
     international human rights law;
       (B) to promote principles of good governance; and
       (C) to ensure respect for the universal rights of the 
     Egyptian people;
       (12) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to 
     support the Government of Egypt with assistance, training, 
     and other resources as it combats terrorism, addresses 
     security in the Sinai Peninsula, and enhances Egypt's border 
     security and maritime security while recognizing the need to 
     monitor security assistance to ensure accountability and due 
     process of law;
       (13) clarifies that any proposed restructuring of United 
     States assistance to Egypt, which is subject to the approval 
     of Congress, will take into account progress on meaningful 
     political reform, human rights, and fundamental freedoms;
       (14) congratulates the Egyptian government on their 
     engagement with the International Monetary Fund and their 
     difficult, but necessary, steps to stabilize the economy;
       (15) supports Egypt's economic reform efforts;
       (16) calls on the United States Government to develop a new 
     strategy for joint efforts--
       (A) to bolster trade between the United States and Egypt 
     and investment in the Egyptian private sector;
       (B) to combat corruption; and
       (C) to promote higher education; and
       (17) urges the President of the United States and the 
     Secretary of State to engage the Egyptian Government on new 
     ways to advance the bilateral relationship economically, 
     militarily, diplomatically, and through cultural exchanges, 
     while ensuring respect for the universal rights of the 
     Egyptian people.

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