Visit to ECFA by the U.S. Embassy Minister for Political Affairs
On November 18, 2021, ECFA Director, Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad, received Mr. Patrick Hanish, Minister Plenipotentiary of the U.S. Embassy for Political Affairs, at his request, accompanied by his deputy, Nathaniel Turner. The guest hailed the results of the strategic dialogue that was held in Washington, D.C. on November 8 and 9, 2021 headed by Foreign Ministers of Egypt and the United States, describing it as fruitful, pointing out that it addressed all bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest, and revealed both countries’ strong interest in deepening and expanding economic cooperation and trade exchanges between them. He added that they appreciate Egypt’s active role in supporting security and stability in the region and support and appreciate this Egyptian role, especially with regard to efforts aimed at finding solutions to regional conflicts, promoting peace and halting violence in Gaza. The guest also referred in particular to the U.S. side’s support for Egypt’s water security and their call to resume tripartite negotiations on an agreement on the Renaissance Dam under the auspices of the African Union Chairperson.
Accordingly, the guest denied the validity of the assessments claiming that the United States is withdrawing from the region and refraining from engaging in its problems, referring to its geopolitical importance and the United States’ interests in the region, which places on it responsibility for maintaining its stability and security. He added that what they are working on is the necessity for the countries of the region themselves to share part of this responsibility, and they, therefore, appreciate the active role of Egypt in attempting to find solutions to the region’s problems.
The U.S. side also emphasized his country’s keenness to support the comprehensive development process in Egypt and contribute to the implementation of its vision in this regard. In this regard, he noted the grant agreements recently signed by the U.S. Agency for International Development, worth $125 million, in the areas of basic education, higher education, science and technology, agriculture, health, economic governance, trade and investment. He added that their economic aid amounted to about $30 billion over the past four decades, and that this contributed to improving the lives of millions of Egyptians.
On the other hand, Ambassador Saad indicated the following: Egypt’s keen interest in its relations with the United States, which President Al-Sisi often describes – rightly – as strategic relations that must be based on common interests and mutual benefits. As Egypt led the region to peace with Israel, it will always be a factor of stability and security in it. He also stressed that there is an urgent need for an active and effective American role in the region’s problems in general, and in the issue of the Israeli occupation of Palestine in particular, which is a major challenge for Egypt and all the region’s countries, and that talking about a peace based on economic arrangements only will not succeed in the absence of a political framework that gives hope to the Palestinian people in achieving its independent state it deserves in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions.
In addition, he noted Egypt’s involvement in the region’s files, stressing the importance of U.S. support for the Egyptian role in Libya and Sudan, and the effort to deliver Egyptian gas to Lebanon via Syrian territories. He also pointed out, in this context, that the experience of failed states in the region confirms the sound Egyptian political leadership’s orientation in giving priority to building national state institutions as a basis for regional stability, which depends on the stability and security of individual states. He also clarified that the comprehensive development process underway in Egypt since 2014 till present is a challenge in itself, taking into account the prevailing economic and social facts, which requires support and assistance from the international community in general and friendly countries, especially the United States.