Participation of a number of ECFA members in a symposium on “Egypt-Japan Cooperation in the Evolving Strategic Context of Middle East and Asia”
At the invitation of the Japanese Embassy in Cairo, a delegation of the Council participated in a symposium on “Egypt-Japan Cooperation in the Evolving Strategic Context of Middle East and Asia” organized by Japan’s Embassy in cooperation with the Japan Institute of International Affairs and the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy of the American University in Cairo, on February 5, 2019, in addition to organizing a closed session on “A New Middle East: The Egyptian and Japanese Visions”. The two sessions discussed issues regarding the geopolitical and security situation in the Middle East, migration from the Middle East and North Africa, and the changes in the security situation in the Middle East since 2011.
Moreover, the symposium tackled the consequences of US policies in both the Middle East and Asia, as the participants agreed that such policies are negative, including Washington’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, UNESCO, and the UN Human Rights Council, and discontinuing funding of UNRWA, and assistance to the Palestinian Authority, as well as its withdrawal from the JCPOA and the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, and from the NAFTA agreement with Canada and Mexico, and refusal to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty.
They pointed out that such policies have led to the current chaos and collapse that some countries in the Middle East suffer from, in addition to the policies of withdrawal from international agreements and organizations, and bilateral agreements, especially the JCPOA, in a manner that undermines global stability and peace, which requires global cooperation with the leading countries in the region and the major powers in the world.
On the other hand, the Japanese participants were keen to send an alarm regarding the Chinese rise, at the same time, confirm that the Free and Open Indo-Pacific initiative is not directed against the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and that reports on their steps with India and the United States against China are incorrect, in spite of their deep concerns over the rising Chinese tide, and their warning message against cooperation with China, even if it is indirect, it reflects the deep concern regarding the Chinese challenge at both the military and economic levels.
On their part, the Egyptian participants emphasized that Egypt-Japan cooperation file is the best among Egypt’s development partners. However, the successful Chinese experience in getting 700 million inhabitants above the poverty line over the past forty years is considered as an important experience for Egypt and African countries, and there are efforts to learn and benefit from its lessons.
Japan has been called for further engagement in the Middle East and seeking to invest its good relations with all parties, especially Israel, to advance towards serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians.