Kerry: 'Encouraged' by talks in Egypt (CMCSA, GE) (by David B. Wilkerson)
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday that he's "encouraged" by news that the Egyptian government is willing to amend the constitution and remove restrictions on journalists and Internet usage in the Middle Eastern country. Egyptian Vice-President Omar Sulieman and various factions that oppose that nation's government, including the Muslim Brotherhood, have been in discussions over the weekend. Kerry, appearing on NBC's (CMCSA)(GE) "Meet The Press," called the new round of concessions "a major opening of the door to the democratic process." When asked by host David Gregory how the Obama administration could be surprised about Egypt's explosive upheaval in recent days, Kerry said the "pent-up frustration" that had been mounting in the country had been noticed, but the size and timing of the revolution, aided by new media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, took "everyone" by surprise.