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    Dr. Kamel Holds Talks with White House and State Department Officials

    Washington, 23 June 2009

    Cooperation Agreements Signed between Egyptian and US Companies 

    Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr. Tarek Kamel held important talks with senior US officials of IT and Cybersecurity at the White House as part of the strategic cooperation between Egypt and the US. The two sectors were recently added to the White House by President Barack Obama.
    These meetings were held within the schedule of the Egyptian official delegation to the US. Led by Dr. Kamel, the delegation consists of information and communication technology (ICT) sector leaders, a trade mission of international and local companies operating in Egypt and board members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.
    Dr. Kamel stated that he discussed with Ms. Melissa Hathaway, Cybersecurity Chief at the National Security Council and Mr. John Brennan, US President's Counter Terrorism Advisor, means of boosting bilateral cooperation, especially in view of the Egyptian government's interest in Cybersecurity as a key international cause.
    Egypt has established a center for securing electronic networks. In this respect, Egypt needs to benefit from the American expertise in training its calibers and dealing with emergencies.
    Dr. Kamel said the recurrent incidents of malfunctions in marine cable made Egypt more interested in cybersecurity and in internet infrastructure. Many economic activities highly depend on the internet.
    Minister Kamel added that it had been agreed to make use of the US-Egyptian dialogue in forming high-level joint work groups to work on this issue.
    Dr. Kamel pointed out that among the issues discussed was youth and child protection online, especially with the First Lady's special interest in the issue.
    According to Dr. Kamel, senior US officials inquired about the reaction of Egyptian government and people toward the US President speech in Egypt. Dr. Kamel confirmed that Egypt welcomed the speech, which opened new channels of cooperation.
    Dr. Kamel discussed with Mr. Phil Fiver, Assistant Secretary of State for Technological Affairs and the one in charge of IT policy in the US the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) due to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh resort in November, 2009. The American official said that the US is interested in the conference due to its significance.
    Dr. Kamel noted that during the meeting with Information Technology Association of America, it has been agreed to put into force means of cooperation between Egyptian companies and Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and American firms and expansion in broadband internet investments. The two parties will also figure out new bilateral investment opportunities.
    Meanwhile, Minister Kamel witnessed the signing of an agreement between ITIDA and American-Arab Chamber of Commerce in the presence of numerous representatives of international companies. ITIDA CEO Dr. Hazem Abdelazim signed the agreement.
    Dr. Abdelazim said it had been agreed that US companies would enter into partnerships with Egyptian ones and use Egypt as a regional hub in the Middle East.
    In the meantime, Dr. Kamel held important talks with the World Bank (WB) Managing Director Mr. Juan Jos Daboub. Talks focused on activating collaboration between Egypt's ICT sector and the bank.
    The two parties also tackled the importance of converging video services in mobile telephony and how this would be reflected on IT networks.
    Minister Kamel witnessed during the meeting the singing of two cooperation agreements with the WB at the bank's headquarters in Washington.
    The first agreement pertained cooperation in the field of broadband internet with National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA). The agreement was signed by NTRA Executive Chairman Dr. Amr Badawy.
    The second agreement, signed by First Deputy to Minister of Communications and IT Dr. Hoda Baraka, aims at assessing the economic impact of the ICT sector.
    In other news, Dr. Kamel met Dr. Vint Cerf, known as "the father of the internet," and vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google.
    Dr. Cerf has been invited to contribute to the IGF in Egypt. He expressed happiness towards Egypt's interest in Arabic e-content due to the importance of Egypt's heritage, which should be available online for Arab speakers to achieve the desired benefit.

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