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Egypt's Democracy, in Pursuit of Peace

Saturday, January 22, 2005; Page A16

The Jan. 18 editorial " 'Enough' in Egypt" was incorrect and prejudicial. When recently asked on PBS whether he would run for reelection, President Hosni Mubarak said, "I have not decided yet."

The editorial called for greater democracy, yet it wants the United States to determine who will run for office in Egypt, whether Egyptians should reelect their president and how. The Post said that the civil society in Egypt is suppressed, but it has flourished in recent years as exemplified by the Alexandria conference, the emergence of new political parties (now at 16) and the upcoming political dialogue between the parties.

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The editorial concluded that the elections would be fraudulent before they were held. Ironically, the Cairo demonstrations that The Post mentioned are an indication of the increasingly open and healthy democracy that President Mubarak has promoted since his first day in office.

Finally, the editorial attributed cynical motives to Egypt's three-decade-long pursuit of peace in the Middle East, efforts that began before the international community believed peace was possible in our region and before reform became a topical issue. Egypt will continue its reform efforts as well as its pursuit of peace because both serve its national interests and respond to the interests of its people. Ultimately, even The Post may recognize the importance of Egypt's contributions.

AMGAD AHMED

Press and Information Attache

Embassy of Egypt

Washington


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