The Santiago Times reports that two Chilean political leaders recently travelled to Cairo to discuss their country’s democratic transition and any lessons it may offer for Egypt. Sergio Bitar held cabinet posts in both Salvador Allende’s socialist government and post-Pinochet administrations, and Genaro Arriagada is a leading Christian Democrat, former ambassador to Washington and chief organizer of the 1988 campaign to defeat the dicator in his one-man presidential plebiscite.
The National Democratic Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes democratic practice around the world, asked the Chileans to make the trip. The NDI was “looking for people who could talk to the Egyptians, to transmit their experiences,” Bitar told the Santiago Times. The Chileans met with all the Egyptian political parties, as well as young people involved in the protests against the Mubarak regime.