Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement in response to the ongoing crisis in Egypt.

“Egypt has long needed a more inclusive government, responsive to the desires of its citizens. If a stable democracy is to emerge, there must be wide participation by all secular forces in the country.

“The United States must be prepared to assist the Egyptian government and opposition leaders enter a constructive dialogue, if we are asked to do so by the Egyptians, who are entitled to determine their own fate. So long as the Egyptian military plays a constructive role in bringing about a democratic transition, the United States should also remain committed to our ongoing assistance programs for Egypt, both military and civilian.

“Since the days of Anwar Sadat, who expelled Soviet forces from Egypt and made peace with Israel, the United States and Egypt have had very close ties. This relationship is vital to our security and the security of our allies, and I intend to do everything I can to ensure it continues into the future.”