News / Middle East

US Senate Resolution Urges Political Change in Egypt

Multimedia

Audio
Cecily Hilleary

The U.S. Senate is considering a new resolution that addresses human rights and civil liberties in Egypt.  Senate Resolution 586 was introduced last week by Democratic Senator Russell Feingold and Republican Senator John McCain.  It calls on the government of Hosni Mubarak to repeal the state of emergency and to take steps to ensure free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections.

It also calls on the White House to stress democratic reform in its dealings with Egypt and to support Egyptian human rights and reform groups.

Dr. Michele Dunne is a senior associate at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and editor of the online journal, the Arab Reform Bulletin.  She told us the resolution is symbolic and not binding.

Dunne:  "The timing of the resolution is related to the upcoming elections in Egypt.  Egypt is going to have important elections for the lower house of Parliament in November and a Presidential election next year.

I think there is a sense in the Congress that the United States has to pay more attention to this.

The Obama administration wanted to kind of reset the relationship with Egypt and improve relations with the government, which it did—and yet somehow, concerns about human rights and democracy kind of got lost, for awhile, at least.

Now, I think, there are a number of things that have been happening in Egypt.  There are the upcoming elections.   The government recently renewed this state of emergency under which the country has been living for more than thirty years.  And there is also this human rights case recently, where a young man was beaten to death by the police.  There’s a lot going on in Egypt, and I think we see now the Hill—and also the Administration starting to take more of an interest."

Hilleary:  What good can a Senate resolution do?  What kind of a signal does it send and where does it go from here?

Dunne:  "Right.  I mean, this resolution is really just an expression of interest on the part of the Senate in conditions in Egypt.

It shows that members of the Senate are aware of what’s going on in Egypt and consider that human rights and democracy have to be part of the U.S. relationship and dialogue with Egypt.  And it urges the Egyptian government to take certain steps.  And it also urges the administration—the president and the secretary of state—to sort of put these issues a little higher on the U.S. agenda with Egypt.

But there’s nothing binding about it.  There are no punishments or threats or anything like that in the Resolution."

Hilleary:  What has been the reception in Egypt?

Dunne:  "It has appeared in the Egyptian press over the last couple of days.  There have been some articles about it.  So far, it’s pretty much sort of straight-forward reporting of this Senate Resolution, and I think we’ll see the reaction if the Resolution passes."



You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid