U.S. Seeks Egypt's Help In Stabilizing Iraq

U.S. Seeks Egypt's Help In Stabilizing Iraq
April 19th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: U.S. Seeks Egypt's Help In Stabilizing Iraq

U.S. Seeks Egypt's Help In Stabilizing Iraq
Los Angeles Times
April 19, 2007
Defense Secretary Gates says that if the rising sectarian violence is not controlled it can spread across the Middle East.
By Julian E. Barnes, Times Staff Writer
CAIRO Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Wednesday appealed to Egypt for help in stabilizing Iraq, arguing that if the rising sectarian violence was not controlled it could spread across the Middle East.
If Americans and Iraqis fail to create a stable state in Iraq, Gates said, extremist movements will be emboldened and sectarian strife will spread across national borders, affecting the entire region.
"The first and secondary effects of a collapse in Iraq with all of its economic, religious, security and geopolitical implications will be felt in capitals and communities of the Middle East well before they are felt in Washington and in New York," Gates said in a lunchtime speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo.
"The forces that would be unleashed of sectarian strife, of an emboldened extremist movement with access to sanctuaries do not recognize or respect national boundaries," he said.
The last time Egypt was near the top of the U.S. foreign policy agenda was two years ago, when the Bush administration promised to aggressively push allies in the Middle East to embrace democratic forms.
But much of that talk of democratic reforms has fallen by the wayside as the continuing conflict in Iraq has made securing stability in the Middle East a more urgent goal.
In his speech, Gates spoke only generally about "political openness" and the need for trade and commerce to create a larger middle class and "higher quality of life" for workers.
Asked at a news conference why he had not raised the issue of Egypt's crackdown on political dissent with President Hosni Mubarak, Gates said, "I would say there are a variety of forums, and a variety of ways the United States can make its views known on democratization."
The Defense secretary made it clear that he did not believe telling Egypt how to run its affairs was the best way to enlist Mubarak's help with Iraq.
"To build a more secure and prosperous future, we will continue working with Egypt and other friends in the region," Gates said.
"Not as a patron but as a partner. A partner who respects the different histories, cultures and perspectives of the people of the Middle East."

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