POMED’s Deputy Director for Research Testifies before Congress on Egypt

On Wednesday, June 15, POMED’s Deputy Director for Research Amy Hawthorne testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa in a hearing entitled, “Egypt: Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Policy.”

In her testimony, Hawthorne emphasized that Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is headed in the wrong direction. The military-backed government is carrying out “unprecedented repression” against peaceful dissent, struggling economically while making little progress on reforms, and facing ongoing security challenges, according to her testimony. Additionally, she noted that Egypt has become a more difficult U.S. partner in many respects—jailing and putting on trial U.S. citizens on trumped-up charges, deporting American visitors as “security threats,” promoting anti-Americanism in the media, obstructing some economic aid programs, and failing to cooperate on certain security assistance requirements. “Backing the status quo without question,” she concluded, “is certain to lead to worrying results for the United States and for Egypt.” While acknowledging the need for the United States to work with Egypt on a range of short-term security goals, Hawthorne proposed several steps the United States should take to signal its deep concern about Egypt’s trajectory.

To accompany her written testimony, POMED prepared a fact sheet describing troubling political, human rights, and violence indicators under President Sisi and a timeline documenting the Egyptian government’s intensifying crackdown on independent civil society organizations.

Hawthorne testified alongside Ambassador Mark Green, President of the International Republican Institute, and Mokhtar Awad, Research Fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University. Their written testimonies are available here.

A video of the proceedings is available below.