Michele Dunne: “Managing the U.S. Relationship with Egypt”
Michele Dunne of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council published an article in the Washington Post last week entitled “Managing the U.S. Relationship with Egypt.” She noted that working with Egypt’s new president “On the basis of mutual respect,” as characterized by President Obama in his congratulatory phone call to Mohammad Morsi, will require a realignment of U.S. policies toward the vital Arab country. The U.S. will have to shift its aid packages from military assistance to free-trade, investment, and job growth, while carefully examining its assistance annually against Egypt’s real needs.
Moreover, Dunne said, the U.S. must do a better job of supporting democratic values than the Obama Administration has done thus far, which stood by through a poorly managed transition “characterized by human rights abuses, an ever-changing political timetable, a nose-diving economy, harassment of civil society groups and politicization of the once-respected judiciary.” The U.S. should also be prepared to demand reciprocity on recognition for universal human rights, and international agreements, while pushing for resolution on the legal case against American NGOs. In short, Dunne argued, “Washington will need to be much more attentive than it has been heretofore if it wants to convince Egyptians that it is serious about getting respect as well as giving it.”