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Foreign Policy Analysis

Secretary Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry Sign Cultural Protection MOU

(The memorandum was signed.) (Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry
and Secretary Kerry stand, shake hands.) (Exchange documents.) (Applause) SECRETARY KERRY: My great pleasure to
welcome the foreign minister of Egypt here today, and I think both of us would express our
pleasure at signing this U.S.-Egypt cultural property agreement. This has been years in the making. It represents the first agreement
in the Middle East or North Africa regarding the protection of antiquities. And it’s a real challenge on a global basis,
so this is groundbreaking. I think it’s a good moment for Egypt, the
United States, for the region, for us to make it clear that these antiquities are priceless
treasures that do not belong to traffickers and crooks and should not be sold illegally
and bought by wealthy people to hide away somewhere. They are the antiquities that belong to the
world, that have been protected and should be protected by an old civilization. And so I think this is a great step forward,
and Sameh, I thank you for joining in this effort. Thank you. FOREIGN MINISTER SHOUKRY:
Thank you, Secretary Kerry. I’m delighted to be here on this occasion to sign
this important agreement of the maintenance and protection of our heritage, both for the
Egyptian people but for humanity at large. This is a common heritage that we share and
it is important to protect and maintain people’s understanding of the commonality that binds
us together. So we are grateful for the cooperation that the
United States has shown and the understanding on this important issue, and we hope that
it becomes a roadmap for the protection of these antiquities to preserve them
for generations to come and to preserve them against
the treachery of those who want to destroy them and to wipe out
this commonality of our humanity. Thank you. SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. (Applause.) SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.
Thank you for joining us. Have a good day.

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