Consultative session on “Dimensions of Egypt’s regional role and the related challenges in light of the changing regional and international environment”
On October 7, 2020, ECFA organized a consultative session on the dimensions of Egypt’s regional role and the related challenges in light of the changing regional and international environment, which was attended by a number of experts and academics, and which issued the following conclusions:
The issue of comprehensive development constitutes the top priority of the Egyptian foreign policy due to its close association with Egyptian national security. In this context, reference was made to the policy of diversifying the strategic partnerships pursued by Egypt with the major powers in the world. In this regard, the participants hailed the independent trends in Egypt’s foreign policy.
The future of Egyptian foreign policy is linked to the existence of genuine development at home and building an internal model that guarantees progress in its human development indicators in all fields, including improving the business environment, education, health, scientific research, and the use of science and technology, which do not commensurate at all Egypt’s stature and its great cultural and civilizational assets in its region and in the world. The internal structure must include creating a strong political current to confront the Islamic movement and building hard power and soft power elements.
In the above framework, the participants agreed that the regional role of Egypt is closely related to its position on the Palestinian cause and the necessity for a just solution to it. If the Gulf States want to mobilize against Iran and ward off its danger, then resolving the Palestinian cause will deprive Iran of the most important pillars on which it relies for its interventions in the region. In addition, the settlement of this question is a matter of close relevance to Egyptian national security, and it is closely linked to terrorist activities in the Sinai.
The participants agreed that Turkey is the strategic opponent of Egypt, even if Israel remains the enemy.
The need for an accurate and timely follow-up process for developments in the region in terms of research, intelligence and diplomacy, because normalization may involve economic projects that may affect Egyptian interests.
The participants agreed on the need for Egypt to build new and flexible alliances that is not necessarily based on a total convergence of interests. Rather, it is sufficient to agree on a specific interest and adhere to the Egyptian position even if it contradicts the positions of the other allies.
Some also noted the importance of restoring Syria, reviving the Egyptian role in Lebanon, and continuing the active diplomacy towards Africa adopted by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.