Ambassador Ezzat Saad participates in a symposium on “The June 2013 Revolution and Egyptian foreign policy… challenges and achievements” at the Supreme Council of Culture
On July 12, 2023, Ambassador Ezzat Saad participated in a symposium on “The June 2013 Revolution and Egyptian Foreign Policy… Challenges and Achievements” within the framework of a series of seminars held by the Supreme Council of Culture on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the June 2013 Revolution, with the participation of: Prof. Dr. Ali El-Din Hilal, Prof. Dr. Ahmed Youssef Ahmed, Professor of Political Science at Cairo University, and Prof. Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Morsi, Deputy Rapporteur of the Political Science Committee of the Supreme Council of Culture, while the symposium was moderated by Prof. Dr. Hussein Hosny, media anchor, Professor of Journalism at the 6th of October University, and member of the Youth Committee of the Supreme Council of Culture.
In this context, Ambassador Saad indicated that those concerned with studying Egyptian foreign policy have come to distinguish a number of circles of external action (the Arab – the African – the international circle), and within the latter the circle of the Islamic world, and the American and European circles. He added that the division is flexible and the circles are overlapping by the nature of foreign policy itself. In addition, there are new action circles that have been created, namely the Asian Circle (East – South – Southeast – Central – Central Asia and the Caucasus), the East Mediterranean Circle, and the Levant Circle (Egypt, Iraq and Jordan).
In this context, it is noted that Egypt’s relative weight within the global order has increased, and it is the result of a number of comparative advantages that Egypt has succeeded in accumulating over the last eight years, starting with its pioneering experience in the field of the war on terrorism, passing by development experiences in the field of energy and infrastructure, and Egypt’s active diplomatic role within multilateral institutions, whether regional or international, especially in issues of global trade, energy, climate change, and global security. With the invitations that Egypt receives from these forums, whether official or informal (BRICS – Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)), it has been able to put forward many ideas or initiatives, as happened at the Climate Summit held in Egypt in November 2022.
In terms of contents, President El-Sisi often emphasizes the intrinsic link between the internal stability of the state and the stability of the region in which it is located. The path to achieving sustainable and secure peace in a region like the Middle East does not lie in imported foreign solutions and connection to the global economy, or even the establishment of a regional collective security system, as suggested by the major powers from time to time. The solution, from President El-Sisi’s perspective, lies in enhancing the internal stability of the countries of the region and allowing them to rebuild economically, politically, and militarily, without dictates from abroad. Strengthening national systems and empowering the state would help the state contribute to the stability, security and economic development of the entire region.
In general, the features of foreign policy during the era of the June Revolution include: equality, mutual respect, and non-interference in internal affairs in order to achieve and sustain common interests, partnership, independent national decision-making, preservation of the nation-state, and respect for its sovereignty, as well as cautiousness, strategic self-restraint, avoiding clash, careful reading of Egyptian priorities and interests, and recognition of the interests of other partners. This is clear, for example, in the Egyptian approach to the Ethiopian dam crisis and the Libyan crisis. This is while there are new trends in Egyptian foreign policy, including: the Egypt-Greece-Cyprus tripartite cooperation mechanism, the Egyptian orientation towards the Arab Mashreq, and the new orientation towards the Red Sea region and the Horn of Africa.
However, there are a number of related challenges: internal challenges, which are the most dangerous and most important (economic conditions – population growth and its repercussions on the development process), external challenges: crises in the immediate neighborhood (Libya – Sudan – Palestine), and changes in the regional and international environment.