Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, February 16, 2007

U.S. and Egypt jointly devise plans for the future

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent visit to Egypt has rekindled the relationship between the two nations, according to an article in Cairo’s Al-Abram Weekly Online this week. While the two countries differ on a variety of issues, a strong and mutual relationship is essential for the future two nations as well as for success in the Middle East, the reported this week, the article says.

While Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has repeatedly cancelled his trips to the U.S – it is very likely that this year will be no different – there have been a series of meetings between high ranking Egyptian and U.S. officials. Discussions have centered around stability in the Middle East, reform, U.S. aid to Egypt, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is of particular importance for Egypt, due to the increasing domestic tensions that it is causing. Egyptians officials have stressed the need for an independent Palestinian state, while the U.S. has only suggested a “political horizon” for the future. However, a resolution to this conflict is significant to U.S. foreign policy as well. According to the Baker Report, resolving the conflict between the two nations is a key component in regional stabilization in the Middle East. The writers of the article are hopeful that the U.S. and Egypt will be able to devise a realistic plan and begin implementing it before the end of Bush administration, and indeed, the current U.S. administration’s timeline affords the U.S. an opportunity to place more political pressure on Israel.

Another topic of major concern for the two nations is free trade. This discussion has, in the past, been inhibited by political initiatives; however, if the Bush administration hopes to instill democratization and open trade in the region, Egypt will have to be an integral player in this process, the article says.

For the full article, click here.


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