Egypt, Friends or No.

Advice, information and discussion about Egypt in general.

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Egypt, Friends or No.

Post by Hafiz » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:07 pm

Prior to Christmas the New York Times published an op-ed “Actually Egypt is a Terrible Ally”. It documented decades of non-performance – both for the benefit of the US and for the Egyptian people – and suggested the relationship be reduced/closed down. It justified this in part on the basis that whilst Egypt may once have been important in the region it no longer mattered and had irretrievably lost its leadership role. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/18/opin ... pence.html

Phrases such as ‘vacuous’, ‘major reduction in American military assistance’, ‘profoundly unfriendly behaviors’ (the new military alliance with Russia, Egyptian backing the anti-western side in Libya and Syria and Egyptian military relationships with North Korea), ‘Because of its internal decay, Egypt is no longer a regional heavyweight that can anchor America’s Middle East policy’ and it gets worse.

Both authors of this harsh article were senior US government officials in the Department of State and the National Security Council. It is likely that the Egyptian Dina Powell who is the current National Security Advisor to Trump (and who is shunned by the current Egyptian government) has a near identical view or at least a very negative view of Egypt’s current circumstances. She may however be leaving https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... b4456f0662

The Egyptian Ambassador to the US wrote a very brief response which is both illiterate, illogical and does not respond to the major arguments in the op-ed. If anything the response illustrates the low level of thinking skills in Egypt’s government. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/31/opin ... egypt.html

The NYT article follows the scathing Economist series of articles less than a year ago, the negative views of the Council on Foreign Relations and standard negative views in the BBC, Guardian and Financial Times. About a year ago the local Reuters put buckshot in their gun and aimed it at Egypt. In total they create an environment of informed opinion which will likely mean than no western multinational will invest a dollar in Egypt. In any event capital inflows may have peaked and could now slow dramatically. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -cut-looms

Chatham House has only a passing interest in Egypt.

There is not a single print or electronic media system in the West which has a positive view on Egypt - but organs like Bloomberg keep it technical and opinion free.

The Economist is doubly important because most large corporations and governments pay the 10 grand or so to get the Economist Intelligence Report on most countries and only reject The Economist position with reservations.

You wonder what is going on because the Government of Egypt has paid tens of millions to a US PR firm to improve its image and the Egyptian Army/Security Services have also hired another firm to do the same. Looks like government is as coordinated as ever. One of the firms hired lacks a reputation for integrity.

At the moment Egypt’s friends are a very small club – that does not include Saudi. Opportunities for the Russians and Chinese and there is always the French. It also has most/all of the media and the foreign policy eagles against it or not interested.



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Re: Egypt, Friends or No.

Post by newcastle » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:01 pm

A senate committee from last April covers many of the aspects of why the US is disenchanted with Egypt and periodically reconsiders its aid.



Apologies if I've posted this before. It's lengthy but worth listening to. A catalogue of what's wrong with the country.....in the view of the US.

In contrast, in a televised speech yesterday, the president discussed economic reform, social and economic achievements, war against terrorism and Egypt's Arab and international position after 4 years of his tenure.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in a speech at the 'Story of a Nation' event that 11,000 national projects have been implemented in the country over the past four years, with an average of three projects a day, worth EGP 2 trillion.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent ... lance.aspx

No doubt the claims will be applauded, or derided, according to whether or not you're a fan of the current regime.

When I've finished reading the Amelia Peabody series, I'll give the "Story of a Nation" a look. One can never have enough of this literary genre.

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Re: Egypt, Friends or No.

Post by Major Thom » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:38 am

When you are putting money into things that never appear you will get suspicious, over the last few years its been a case of security and military build up, rather than human rights and looking after the people your represent.

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Re: Egypt, Friends or No.

Post by Hafiz » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:31 pm

2 trillion is about 4 years of total revenue. Assuming revenue is used 80% for recurrent (for the millions of bureaucrats) that means that the announced capital programs are about 20 years of available revenue.

I think someone has been borrowing.

Its all looking a bit like the 1870's again.

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Re: Egypt, Friends or No.

Post by Major Thom » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:19 pm

I think you may well be right. Everything Egypt is doing at the moment does not effect the local people at all. But never mind things will soon change, promises of this that and the other ready for the next year election.

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