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US Congressman: Arab Spring spawned extremist forces instead of strengthening democratic values

August 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm

The Arab Spring has resulted, in many cases, in giving rise to extremist forces instead of strengthening democratic values, a US Republican Congressman said yesterday.

Speaking during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, Darrell Issa, who is the chairman of the Oversight Committee and Government Reform in the House of Representatives, added that it is necessary to work on promoting democratic values in the countries that have witnessed these revolutions, according to a statement issued by Egyptian presidency.

The US Congressman, who is visiting Cairo along with a delegation from Congress that includes Senators and members of the House of Representatives, met with Al-Sisi and discussed the importance of strengthening US-Egyptian strategic relations and investing in the historical, long-term cooperation between the two countries.

Issa thanked the Egyptian president for his efforts to combat terrorism in both Sinai, to the north-east of Cairo, and Western Sahara, which he considered a “common danger” threatening the two countries.

On his part, Al-Sisi praised Issa’s support for the Egyptian people’s free will, expressed on June 30 and July 3, in reference to Egypt’s popular protests, following which the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Commenting Issa’s remarks about the rise of extremist forces in a number of Arab Spring countries, Al-Sisi said that there are several factors that led to the outbreak of such extremist trends in the region, such as poverty, ignorance, the negative role of some media outlets and the erroneous religious discourse. All of these problems need to be resolved, he added.

During a press conference that was held after the meeting, Issa said Al-Sisi would be welcomed by the US administration if he decides to visit Washington at any time, adding that Egypt is a strong regional ally of the United States.