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US Urges Egyptian Students To Oppose Terrorism

State's Hughes Urges Egyptian Students To Oppose Terrorism

Under secretary addresses students at American University in Cairo

By David Shelby
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes September 25 urged students at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, to speak out against intolerance, terrorism and indiscriminate killing.

“I would hope that at a time when our world faces [the] common threat of terrorism that you would join and work to speak out against the killing, the taking of innocent civilian lives and indiscriminate killing that is a part of terrorism today,” Hughes told the group of Egyptian scholarship students.

“[A]s you in Egypt know, you've experienced terrorist attacks yourselves and you know terrorism is not just a threat to America. It's a threat to civilized people in Egypt and a threat to civilized people the world over,” she said. “So I hope you would join to speak out against hate and intolerance. That you would speak up for enlightenment rather than incitement.”

Cairo is the first stop on a three-country tour in which Hughes is meeting with government officials, community leaders and private citizens in an effort to build bridges of understanding between the United States and people in the Muslim world. This is her first trip to the Middle East since assuming her position as under secretary of state.

In her discussion with the students, Hughes deplored the situation in Iraq where insurgents are targeting Muslim civilians in terrorist attacks, and she called on all the people of the region to speak out against this.

Hughes praised the students for their academic achievements and welcomed the interest they expressed in serving their country. “I think that is so noble to want to help to build a better life not only for yourself and your own families when you have them but for your community and your country,” she said.

Hughes also thanked the Egyptian people for their assistance to the United States following Hurricane Katrina and said it is important for countries to help each other.

“I think ultimately we are a world community and none of us in the world community is perfect and when we reach out and take help from each other, and when we help each other I think that is ultimately what a future of hope will look like and it is what I hope for, too,” she said.

A transcript of Hughes’ discussion with the students is available on the State Department Web site.

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