ECFA’s commemoration of the centenary of Dr. Ahmed Esmat Abdel Meguid – Former Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary-General of the League of Arab States
On March 22, 2023, ECFA commemorated the centenary of Dr. Ahmed Esmat Abdel Meguid (1923 – 2023), former Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, to honor him and in recognition of the great contributions he made in the service of his cherished country and the Arab nation. A number of diplomats, academics and public figures participated in this commemoration, who were brought together while working closely with the late minister by diplomatic missions or situations, including Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Ambassador Mohamed Al-Orabi, ECFA Chairman and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mustafa Al-Fiqi, Dr. Ali El-Din Hilal, Dr. Mufid Shehab, Ambassadors Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, Abdel Moneim Omar, Farouk Mabrouk, Sayed Shalaby, Mohamed Al-Ashmawy, Mohamed Mounir, Mohamed Al-Darghami, Hussein Hassouna, and Mr. Atef Al-Ghamri, in the presence of some of his family members.
The participants discussed various aspects of the deceased’s life, noting that he was one of the pioneers of calm and firm Egyptian diplomacy, and that his diplomatic career was associated with the nation’s major causes in foreign policy and diplomacy. He began his diplomatic career by negotiating the agreement on British evacuation from Egypt in 1954, then negotiating the return of diplomatic relations between Egypt and France in 1957 after they had been cut off following the tripartite aggression against Egypt in 1956. These experiences qualified him to chair Egypt’s permanent delegation to the United Nations at a delicate period in the history of the Egyptian state and its foreign policy, for a period of 12 years (1972-1983). That period during which he was appointed to manage what was known as the Mena House negotiations to follow up on the Camp David Accords, during which the firm side of his personality appeared, alongside his calm diplomacy.
It was also noted that Dr. Esmat Abdel Meguid, during his tenure as the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, was the one who coined the term development diplomacy. He wanted to harness the peace that Egypt had achieved after decades of wars to direct energies towards development, and he requested that the relevant ministries and agencies in the field of development be invited to this conference. He also directed Egypt’s embassies abroad to build Egypt’s foreign relations in a manner that serves the development process in Egypt. In fact, since the launch of this concept, Egyptian diplomatic activities have revolved around making Egypt’s development goals, including trade, investment, technology, and tourism, on the national agenda of the Egyptian embassies. Hence, the name of Dr. Esmat Abdel Meguid is worth remaining prominent among the notable Egyptian diplomats, and for his biography to remain a model for future generations of Egyptian diplomacy to aspire to.