Visit of the Delegation of the US Naval War College
On the 5th of April 2016, the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs welcomed a delegation from the US Naval War College. The delegation included 13 students and was led by Colonel Ron Dennis, the American attaché in Cairo. This was the second meeting, as part of the college’s keenness to communicate with the Council on a regular basis, after the visit of the US Air Force Academy’s delegation in March 2016. The meeting was attended by Ambassadors/ Dr. Mounir Zahran, Dr. Ezzat Saad, Wafaa Baseem and General/ Mohamed Ibrahim El-Deweiry.
Ambassador Mounir Zahran chaired the meeting in which the American delegation asked to discuss several issues. These issues included the challenges that face Egypt internally and externally, security and stability in the region, economic challenges, combatting terrorism, and women’s role in society. The American delegation also highlighted the fact that Egypt is the only country they have visited so far.
Ambassador Zahran emphasized that the council’s members are willing to explain and analyze the American delegation’s proposed topics for discussion. He talked about the bilateral relations between the two countries, especially the economic ties that contribute to the increase in foreign investment in Egypt. He stressed that Egypt has an independent character and it seeks to expand its foreign relations circle by heading towards the east (Asia and the Pacific), which is considered to be the US’s current adopted foreign policy vision.
Ambassador Ezzat Saad explained the internal challenges the American delegation had asked about. He stated that these internal challenges are mainly due to the economic situation which is considered to be a long-term challenge for the Egyptian government. Additionally, Egypt lost about 11 to 12 billion dollars due to the deterioration in the tourism sector which is considered to be one of the main sources of national income.
Ambassador Saad also referred to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and described it as one of the causes of terrorism in the region and in the world. He explained that the anti-American foreign policy sentiment in the region is mainly caused by the United States’ blind bias and absolute support of Israel and its settlement policy.
Ambassador Wafaa Baseem said that the US Navy College’s nomination of some of its students to visit Egypt is due to Egypt’s strategic importance in the fields of their different studies. She pointed out that how Egypt accepts criticism but only if it’s a constructive one.
General Mohamed Ibrahim El-Deweiry primarily focused on two topics; the situation in Sinai and the Palestinian issue. For the situation in Sinai, he confirmed the destruction of many terrorist strongholds in Sinai. As for the Palestinian issue, he stated that the peace process didn’t make any progress until now, the American efforts were stopped for three years and Israel is rejecting all solutions.