The State Department has expressed satisfaction with
security measures taken by Egypt to protect U.S. interests.
The State Department report entitled "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2002"
provided the first official description of efforts by Cairo and Damascus to
protect both American citizens and interests in the two Arab states. The
report said both countries have cooperated with the United States to bolster
security measures in times of tension.
The report said the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak increased
security for U.S. civilian and military personnel over the last year amid
the military buildup in the Persian Gulf. The security measures were meant
to protect U.S. naval ships and supply vessels that brought troops and
equipment for Central Command in Kuwait, Middle East Newsline reported.
"In addition to combating global terrorism, Cairo continued to place a
high priority on the protection of U.S. citizens and facilities in Egypt,"
the report, issued last month, said. "It increased security for U.S.
citizens and facilities and for U.S. forces, both stationed in Egypt and
transiting the country to the Gulf, by air or through the Suez Canal. Egypt
has strengthened its airport security, agreed to stricter aviation-security
measures, and granted extensive overflight and canal transit clearances."
The State Department also described Syrian security measures to protect
Americans and U.S. installations in and around Damascus during 2002. The
regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the report, said has cooperated in
foiling attacks by Al Qaida and aligned groups.
"In times of increased threat, it [Syria] has increased police
protection around the U.S. embassy," the report said. "During the past five
years, there have been no acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens in Syria.
The government of Syria has cooperated significantly with the United States
and other foreign governments against Al Qaida, the Taliban, and other
terrorist organizations and individuals. It also has discouraged any signs
of public support for Al Qaida, including in the media and at mosques."
Syria has remained on the list of State Department terrorist sponsors.
The department said Syria continues to harbor a range of groups deemed as
terrorists in Damascus.