U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
January 10, 2019
New Administrative Capital, in Cairo, Egypt
SECRETARY POMPEO: Just wanted to say this is a – I hope you all get a chance to see a truly remarkable place where you can see religious liberty, religious freedom at work in this special country. President Sisi clearly made a point by putting this – this largest cathedral in the Middle East – here in this place. It’s very special; it’s very warm. It’s a beautiful place, and you can see that the Lord is at work here, here in Egypt. So it’s a great chance to see it. It’s a great symbol of hope, I think, to Cairo, to Egypt, and all of the Middle East.
QUESTION: What’s the correct role of the government, the secular government, in protecting the rights of religious minorities?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, they have an obligation to make sure that every individual can choose to worship the way they want or choose not to worship in their own way. And it’s wonderful that here in Egypt that is possible. It’s pretty special.
MR PALLADINO: Thank you, thank you. Sir – the Egyptian.
SECRETARY POMPEO: How are you all?
QUESTION: Welcome to Egypt.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Great to be here. It’s great to be touring this brand new facility. It’s absolutely spectacularly beautiful. The Lord is clearly at work here, and it is a very special thing to have this in the heart of the Middle East, this enormous cathedral where people can come worship in Egypt. I think it’s a symbol for the whole world about religious freedom and the opportunities there ought to be for every citizen to practice and worship in their own way.
QUESTION: If you talk about the message from here, from Egypt, a land of peace for the world.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, it’s absolutely a land of peace. It’s a land of religious freedom and opportunity. It’s remarkable to see this in this special place, all built within two years, a stunning testament to the Lord’s hand.
QUESTION: Okay. What I want to – how you see the relationship between Cairo and Washington?
SECRETARY POMPEO: We have a fantastic strategic relationship. They’re an important partner of the United States in every element – in our economic prosperity between the two countries, the security of our two nations. They are great partners, and President Trump and President Sisi have worked closely together for President Trump’s time in office. They are a very special country, a very special relationship with the United States.
QUESTION: Thank you.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you all. Have a great day.