Le chef de la diplomatie américaine Mike Pompeo (C) le 10 janvier 2019 dans la the cathédrale de la Nativité, dans la nouvelle capitale administrative égyptienne, à environ 45 km du Caire Photo: POOL/AFP
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Pompeo praises Egypt 'freedoms' during church, mosque visit

8 Comments
By ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday praised Egypt's religious freedoms as he visited a vast cathedral and a mosque in the country's new capital east of Cairo.

Washington's top diplomat, who describes himself as an evangelical Christian, is on a tour aimed at reassuring regional US allies after Washington's shock decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.

On Thursday evening he visited the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ and the Al-Fattah Al-Alim mosque in Egypt's New Administrative Capital, 45 kilometers (28 miles) east of the capital.

At the mosque, he praised Egypt's "freedoms here in this houses of worship, these big, beautiful, gorgeous buildings where the Lord is clearly at work".

The two buildings were inaugurated by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday, a day after a deadly bomb blast near a church in the country where jihadists have repeatedly targeted Christians.

"This is a special country where President Sisi clearly made a point by putting this, this largest cathedral in the Middle East here in this place," Pompeo said, calling the building "a great symbol of hope".

The cathedral's inauguration was hailed by U.S. President Donald Trump, who wrote on Twitter that he was "excited to see our friends in Egypt opening the biggest Cathedral in the Middle East".

"Sisi is moving his country to a more inclusive future," Trump said.

Sisi, a former army chief who led the military in ousting Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, is accused of leading a relentless crackdown on both pro-democracy campaigners and Islamists.

Coptic Christians, who account for around 10 percent of Egypt's population, have been hit by a string of sometimes deadly attacks by the Islamic State group in recent years.

They have long complained of official discrimination.

Asked about the role of governments towards religious minorities, Pompeo said they had "an obligation to make sure that every individual can choose to worship the way they want or choose".

"It's wonderful that here in Egypt it's possible," he said.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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I recommend watching Pompeo’s speech at American University in Cairo on YouTube. Excellent speech and shows how good President Trumps foreign policy is.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Mike "the Rapture" Pompeo is a dangerous man. Possibly more so than his boss. His latest comments about Syria and Iran are not helpful and indeed seem to verge on a hatred of Islam.

A reminder that fundamentals are what causes division and conflicts.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A reminder that fundamentals are what causes division and conflict

There is nothing actually wrong with fundamentalism as long as the fundamentals are sound and it isn’t just the fundamentalists who cause division and conflict.

I can’t stand Pompeo but I’d take his fundamentalism over that found in Islam. The Islamists and jihadists make Pompeo look like a puppy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thing is, his Islamaphobia is in check when he's doing his master's bidding on Saudis. But if it comes to Iran, there it is again.

There's no logic in fundamentalists.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thing is, his Islamaphobia is in check when he's doing his master's bidding on Saudis. But if it comes to Iran, there it is again.

According to the definition of the silly word ‘Islamophobia’, I’d say most people on the planet are islamophobic, including many Muslims .

It is such a silly, illogical word. I’ve come across reformist Muslims who object to the use of it as it obfuscates honest and much needed conversation on reform. It’s a propaganda term which Islamists love.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mike "the Rapture" Pompeo is a dangerous man. Possibly more so than his boss. His latest comments about Syria and Iran are not helpful and indeed seem to verge on a hatred of Islam.

A reminder that fundamentals are what causes division and conflicts

No, I disagree. The speech Obama gave was a complete and total embarrassment. When he did that, go on an apology tour I already knew the guy was going to be piece of crap. Pompeo was exactly on point, I couldn’t find anything at all wrong with his speech. Iran is the problem has been for years and is responsible for killing thousands of Americans. He’s also right that Iran must be contained and with the help of the Saudis and Israel, that objective can become a reality. Because they all know what a threat these Mullahs are. Good man, amazing speech, that’s how it’s done.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No, I disagree. The speech Obama gave was a complete and total embarrassment. When he did that, go on an apology

How do you go on an apology tour but not apologize once?

Pompeo was exactly on point, I couldn’t find anything at all wrong with his speech

You can't find anything wrong with anything Trump or his people do. It's called hyperpartisanship.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The speech Obama gave was a complete and total embarrassment.

Did the other world leaders laugh at him openly in the UN for saying stupid stuff?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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