14 November 2018 11:32 AM

Political Relations

Thursday، 30 March 2017 12:57 PM

The Egyptian-US relations have witnessed great development since World War II. The relation has gone through several stages that can be illustrated through the official mutual visits and the most important events.

Before July 23, 1952 revolution

Relations between Egypt and the USA were limited to visits by the US presidents in the World War II to negotiate with senior world leaders about the war's outcome. The most important of these visits are as follows:

On November 22, 1943: US President Franklin Roosevelt held 1st Cairo conference with the participation of British Leader Winston Churchill and Chinese leader Chiang Kechek. Although, the visit was not pure Egyptian event, but, Cairo was the headquarters of the secret meeting between the major countries to determine the fate of the war and the world.

On November 27, 1943: US President Franklin Roosevelt held the 2nd Cairo conference with the participation of British Leader Winston Churchill and Turkish President Inonu.

In February 1945: During and after the end of World War II, the close ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia were enhanced. US President Franklin Roosevelt held a meeting on a warship in the Suez Canal with Saudi King Abdulaziz Al-Saud. During the visit, Roosevelt held his 1st meeting with King Farouk of Egypt. He also held a meeting in Alexandria with the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie.

Nasser era

During the era of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Egyptian-US relations were characterized by tension and conflict. The peak of this tension was in 1967 resulting in cutting the diplomatic relations between the two countries. However, there were moments of cooperation as appeared in the role played by the United States in the Egyptian-British invasion on the Suez war in 1956.

The most important of visits during this era are as follows:

In 1953: US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles visited Egypt after the election of US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in order to discuss the encirclement policy of the Soviet Union and its military bases in the region.

In 1956: Disputes between Egypt and the US emerged over financing the High Dam project, thus, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal to finance the project.

In 1959: The United States and Egypt signed an agreement for three years under which Egypt bought the US wheat in Egyptian pounds. Washington, also, has provided three hundred scholarships for Egyptian students.

In 1961: US President John F. Kennedy sent a letter to the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, offering the United States' desire to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In 1965: The Egyptian-US relations broke down leading to cutting the diplomatic relations after the US support for Israel in its aggression against Egypt on June 5, 1967.

Sadat era

In contrast to the Nasser era, cooperation between the two countries under Sadat era was fruitful reaching its peak after the signing of the Camp David Accords and the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Sadat considered US as a strategic ally that would help Egypt solve dilemmas, both in the conflict with Israel and meeting the requirements of internal development.

The most important of visits during this era are as follows:

In May 1972: President Sadat decided to reduce the number of the US mission in Egypt and the number of the Egyptian mission in USA due to the US support to Israel's aggression.

In November 1973: Talks between President Sadat and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Cairo about the developments of the Middle East crisis.

In December 1973: Talks between President Sadat and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Cairo on the objectives of the Geneva conference.

January 1974: Talks between President Sadat and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Cairo about the separation between the Egyptian and Israeli forces on the Suez front.

February 1974: Talks between President Anwar Sadat and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on the Middle East problem especially separation of forces in the Golan front. A decision was made to resume the diplomatic relations between Egypt and the USA.

In March 1974: Relations between Egypt and the United States were resumed. Since the resumption of the relations between the two countries, there is mutual awareness of the importance of each other and that maintaining good relations between them serve the common interests of both countries.

In May 1974: Talks between President Sadat and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Cairo to reach an agreement regarding the separation of forces in the Golan Heights.

In June 1974: US President Richard Nixon visited Cairo in the first official visit by a US president to discuss the situation in the Middle East and the bilateral relations.

In October 1974: Talks between President Anwar Sadat and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on the Middle East crisis.

In November 1974: US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited Egypt to start his second tour in the Middle East.

In February 1975: An official Egyptian memorandum was sent to the United States and the Soviet Union on the need to invite the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in the Geneva conference.

In February 1975: US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited Egypt to discuss developments in the Middle East crisis.

In February 1975: An economic cooperation agreement between Egypt and the United States under which Egypt received a loan worth $ 80 million to finance imports of agricultural and industrial equipment.

In March 1975: Talks between President Sadat and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Aswan to reach a second agreement for the separation of forces.

In August 1975: Talks between President Sadat and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Cairo about the remaining problems of the proposed agreement of the second separation of the forces in the Sinai front.

In October 1975: President Sadat visited the USA to discuss the developments of the Middle East crisis and enhance cooperation between the two countries and supply Egypt with advanced US weapons.

In November 1975: President Sadat gave a speech before the US Congress on the Middle East issue.

In September 1976: Four economic agreements were signed with the United States under which Egypt received two loans worth $ 89 million, along with two grants worth $ 11 million.

In February 1976: Talks between President Sadat and US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in Cairo on the necessary to push forward peace in the Middle East.

In March 1977: Signing an Egyptian-US agreement in Cairo under which Congress approved to give Egypt a $ 500 million loan.

In April 1977: Talks between President Sadat and US President Jimmy Carter in Washington on the Middle East crisis.

In June 1977: The Appropriations Committee of the US House of Representatives approved to give Egypt an aid worth $ 750 million. Egypt urged the countries of the European Common Market to issue a statement determining their stances on the resumption of negotiations in Geneva.

In August 1977: Talks between President Sadat and US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in Cairo on the Middle East crisis.

In January 1978: Talks between President Sadat and President Jimmy Carter in Aswan announcing the year 1978 as a year of peace in the Middle East.

In February 1978: The United States allowed Egypt to buy 1500 armored tankers model B.K and 1500 other tankers model M 112.

In March 1978: Talks between President Sadat and Envoy of US President Carter Alfred Atherton to discuss the developments of the Middle East problem.

Mubarak era

After the Israeli aggression on Lebanon in 1982, the uncertainty of some Arab countries about the implementation of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, Israel's aggression on Arab land and the complicated situation after Sabra and Shatila massacre, the Egyptian leadership decided to withdraw the Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv, a decision which angered the US political circles.

Military debt issue to the United States: In 1985, the debt had reached five billion dollars; a matter that brought about a burden on the Egyptian economy. The US offers to solve this problem were not enough to reduce this burden as the offers were confined to lower the benefit of the debt, while Egypt was expecting some sort of exemption of this debt.

In April 1995: Mubarak-Al Gore initiative was launched to enhance the bilateral relations in the fields of economy, trade, investment, technology and environment.

In 2001: The Egyptian-US relations have become little tense after the Bush administration adopted an agenda to spread democracy in the Middle East. The tension increased after the arrest of Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who was charged of insulting Egypt. The US linked part of the aid donated to Egypt to the release of Saad Eddin Ibrahim.

In 2005: The relations were tensioned once more after presidential candidate and opponent of the regime Dr. Ayman Nour was prisoned. The then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice postponed her scheduled visit to Egypt.

In 2007: The US Congress approved a project to freeze $ 100 million donated to Egypt as military aid as Washington urged Cairo to close the tunnels with Gaza, to rehabilitate the Egyptian police in order to be able to deal with human right issues and to separate between the budget of the Ministry of Justice and the Egyptian judiciary.

On 4/6/2009: After eight years of tension, US President Obama visited Cairo heading a US delegation where he delivered a famous speech from Cairo University to the Islamic world. Obama's speech tackled nine points: violence and militancy, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Palestinian issue, the Iranian nuclear program, issues of democracy, religious pluralism, women's rights and economic development.

In August 2009: Mubarak visited Washington to discuss the tension in the Middle East in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria and the Iranian threat.

In September 2010: Mubarak took part with his Jordanian counterpart King Abdullah Bin Al-Hussein and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in talks hosted by the White House and headed by Obama to solve the Palestinian issue.

January 25th Revolution and aftermath

In January 2011: January 25 revolution came to represent a new phase in the Egyptian-US relations, where the American policy has faced a new unexpected situation. The US was reluctant at the beginning to support the revolution, but as the result of the public support, Washington announced its support and Obama called upon the former president step down.

In September 2011: During a visit by Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr to Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she appreciated the role of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that maintained stability and that the Egyptian people considered the Supreme Council as a support for the democratization process that paved the way for transparent elections.

On 29/12/2012: US Ambassador Anne Patterson said in Cairo that the US administration is committed to the US aid to Egypt and that she supports strong economic relations between the two countries and also support negotiations with the World Bank to get the loan requested in January 2013.

June 30th Revolution and aftermath

The official US institutions (White House - Congress - Pentagon) expressed its reservation in the beginning of the June 30th Revolution.

On 3/7/2013: US President Barack Obama issued a statement on the situation in Egypt, he stressed that the United States since the revolution of January 25 supports basic principles in Egypt and called for the importance of the transfer of power to a civilian government.

On 5/7/2013: The US Congress stance was different from the White House; the House Foreign Affairs Committee issued a statement, saying that the Muslim Brotherhood failed to understand democracy. The statement demanded the Army and the transitional government to fulfill their intention of democratic transition and to allow the participation of a wide range of people in the process of writing the constitution. The statement also called on all political forces in Egypt to renounce violence. The US administration's stance began after that to shift gradually toward accepting the new situation in Egypt.

On 6/7/2013: In a statement issued by the White House after a meeting between US President Obama and the National Security Council, the United States rejects allegations stating that it is backing any party or person in the crisis in Egypt. The statement said that the US stands with the Egyptian people and their objectives, which they are trying to achieve since the January 25 revolution. The statement, also, called on the political forces to negotiate and start a political process away from violence.

On 15/7/2013: Visiting US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said US President Barack Obama and State Secretary John Kerry asked him to come to Egypt to clarify US stances. He said his message was clear that the US will continue to commit to democratic success and prosperity in Egypt. The US wants Egypt to be strong, democratic and tolerant and to deal with the needs of its people and respect their rights, Burns said. The US does not seek to impose a certain model in Egypt but will support certain main principles, he said. As for fears over repeating the Syrian scenario in Egypt, he cast doubt over the risks of repeating the Syrian disaster in Egypt. Only the Egyptian could determine their choices, he said, reiterating that the US stands by the main democratic principles and the Egyptian citizens.

On 18/7/2013: At the conference held in Jordan, US Secretary of State John Kerry stressed that it was difficult to describe what happened in Egypt as a coup. He said that the Egyptian Army succeeded in sparing the country several risks.

On 24/4/2013: Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr started a long visit to US. During his visit, Egyptian Ambassador to the US Nabil Fahmy met with prominent figures of the Egyptian community in San Francisco and gave a series of media interviews, including: The Associated Press, BBC, US Al Hurra Channel and San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. Fahmi said the Egyptian government is committed to building a democratic system and respecting human rights as a popular Egyptian demand.

President Sisi era

In June 2014: US President Barack Obama phoned President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to congratulate him for being sworn in as Egypt's new president for the coming four years. During the phone call, Obama expressed the US commitment to work with Egypt to promote common interests and the strategic partnership between the two countries. Obama emphasized US support for the political, economic and social aspirations of the Egyptian people.

In August 2014: Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab paid a visit to US to participate in US-African Summit. Mahlab received at his residence in Washington, US Secretary of State John Kerry where they discussed the bilateral relations. They, also, discussed the latest developments in the Middle East and the latest developments in Syria, Libya and Iraq. Mahlab also discussed with US Secretary of Commerce Penny Przkr Egyptian-US cooperation, especially in economic and trade fields.

On 9-12/9/2014: A delegation headed by Ambassador Thomas Shannon and Ambassador David Thorne visited Egypt in order to hold consultations with Egyptian officials about the economic priorities of the Egyptian government. Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Ambassador Hamdi Sanad Loza met the US delegation to discuss the positive developments taking place in Egypt on the economic level. The delegation praised the reforms pursued by the government. The delegation looked forward to the success of the economic conference to be held to support the Egyptian economy and attract investment.

In September 2014: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and other US officials in Washington. They discussed coordination between Egypt and the US on various issues.

On 7/3/2015: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met a visiting US Congressmen delegation, led by Rodney Frelinghuysen, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee in the US Congress. During the meeting, the delegation, stressed US support for Egypt in its war against terrorism as well as efforts to restore stability and security. They asserted that Egypt is the cornerstone of stability and peacemaking in the region.

On 13/3/2015: US State Secretary John Kerry paid a visit to Egypt. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi held a meeting with Kerry who expressed his country's support for the legislative reforms adopted by the Egyptian government. Kerry further said the US participation in the conference reflects the strength of ties binding the two countries and keenness of the US side to push development efforts in Egypt.

On 15/3/2015: Defense Minister Colonel General Sedki Sobhi met a US Congressmen delegation during a visit to Egypt. During the meeting, means of promoting joint military cooperation and efforts to combat terrorism in the Middle East were discussed. The delegation stressed US support for Egypt to restore stability and security.

On 19/4/2015: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi held a meeting with John Brennan, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to discuss promoting cooperation. The meeting tackled ways to enhance bilateral ties and the latest regional and international developments. During the meeting, Sisi and Brennan stressed the importance of strategic relations binding both countries in various fields. They agreed to continue consultation on the various issues of mutual concern, mainly the hot spots in the Middle East and international efforts exerted for fighting terrorism.

On 20/4/2015: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller. They discussed preparations for the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference that will convene in New York City. Shoukry asserted Egypt's call for declaring the Middle East a region free from all weapons of mass destruction.

On 26/4/2015: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited US to participate in the Ninth Review Conference of the States Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

On 4/5/2015: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received a US Congress delegation under House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Intelligence Chief Khalid Fawzy and US Ambassador in Cairo Stephen Beecroft. Nunes said that a number of congressmen understand now Egypt's viewpoint and want to foster mutual relations and help Cairo to surpass challenges facing it in order to restore security and stability in the Middle East. The meeting also tackled the Libyan crisis and terrorism phenomenon in the region.

On 20/5/2015: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met head of the US Central Command Lloyd James Austin. During the meeting, Austin hailed progress made by Egypt at the political and economic levels. The US considers Egypt as its main partner in the Middle East and is keen on boosting cooperation with it, Austin added. Austin also hailed Egypt's call for a moderate religious discourse in the face of extremist powers and terrorism. The US is keen on working with Egypt in order to support moderate powers in confronting the various challenges, which are besetting the region, Ausin said. The meeting also tackled the latest developments in Yemen, Iraq and Syria.

On 28/5/2015: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met former US secretary of defense and former CIA chief Leon Panetta. During the meeting, Panetta said that Sisi is leading Egypt at a very critical time, adding that Sisi succeeded in sparing the country several risks. Panetta, who voiced happiness for visiting Egypt, affirmed that Egypt is a key partner of the US in the region. Panetta, meanwhile, hailed Egypt's role in combating terrorism at the domestic and international levels, adding that Egypt is a model in confronting political, economic and security challenges to build a strong and stable country.

On 2/6/2015: Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazi held talks with visiting US Naval Forces Central Command Commander and US 5th Fleet John Miller on boosting military cooperation. The meeting tackled sharing military experience and issues which could benefit in establishing peace and security in the Middle East region.

On 30/8/2015: Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab received a delegation of the American Chamber of Commerce currently visiting Cairo. The delegation said that their visit aimed to promote cooperation in the field of tourism and reviewing investment opportunities in Egypt.

On 20/9/2015: Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazi held talks with visiting US House of Representatives delegation headed by Republican representative Steve Scalaz.

On 24/9/2015: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi visited USA to attend the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) convenes at UN New York HQ. President Sisi delivered Egypt's speech at the 70th UNGA session. He talked about several current issues at the local, regional and international arenas. The President, also, tackled in his speech means of benefiting from the energy of young people and investing them in pushing up the development process along with means of fighting extremism and pooling all international efforts to uproot it. President Sisi also met a number of Arab and foreign presidents, ministers and officials.

On 7/10/2015: Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark Episcopate, visited USA at the head of a delegation in a 3-week pastoral visit.

On 5/11/2015: Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. General Mahmoud Hegazy met US Commander of Joint Special Operations Command Lieutenant General Raymond Thomas along with his accompanying delegation. The meeting took up a host of files and issues of mutual interest regarding military cooperation and training along with exchanging expertise between the Armed Forces in the two countries.

On 22/11/2015: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met members of the US Congress. Sisi held two separate meetings with the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the US Senate and then with the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Dana Rohrabacher and Republican Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

On 17/1/2016: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met US Central Intelligence Director John Brennan. During the meeting, Brennan hailed strategic relations binding Egypt and the US and underlined the importance of boosting bilateral relations in the various spheres. Brennan affirmed that Egypt is an important partner for his country, adding that the US seeks to get acquainted with Egypt's viewpoint toward cooperation on several regional issues of mutual interest, topped by combating terrorism and confronting terrorist groups in the Middle East.

On 23/1/2016: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met Head of US Central Command General Lloyd James Austin. The meeting dealt with efforts for fighting terrorism. Sisi and Austin also discussed the latest developments in the Middle East, as well as the Egyptian-US military cooperation.
On 9/11/2016: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi phoned Donald Trump to congratulate him on winning the US presidential elections and invited him to visit Egypt. Sisi wished Trump success in his mission as the new US president. President Sisi said he is looking forward to enhancing Egyptian-US cooperation at all levels, voicing hope that Trump's presidential term would be crowned with realizing peace, stability and development in the Middle East in view of the grave challenges besetting it.

On 23/12/2016: US President-elect Donald Trump phoned President Abdel Fattah El Sisi where they reviewed the future of Egyptian-US relations after the new US administration takes the helm officially next month. The two leaders said they are looking forward to boosting bilateral cooperation in various domains for the best interest of both nations. The talks also tackled regional developments which could lead to an escalation of international challenges with regard to stability, peace and security; a matter that necessitates fostering bilateral cooperation in the face of such challenges.

On 14/1/2017: Assistant Foreign Minister of Arab Affairs Tarek el Qouni received US Special Envoy to Libya Jonathan Winer. In a press released, the Foreign Ministry said the talks tackled the latest developments in Libya and means of countering terror in the Arab states. Qouni stressed that Egypt is not siding with any party of the Libyan political process in order to reach an all-out settlement to the Libyan crisis. He referred to the meetings which Egypt hosted recently among Libyan parties to push forward the Libyan political process. He stressed that Egypt would proceed with efforts to settle the Libyan crisis. Winer said Egypt and the US share almost identical views with regard to countering terror in Libya in view of its negative repercussions on the region.

On 2/2/2017: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received a delegation from the Middle East Institute of Washington, D.C. led by its President Wendy Chamberlin and comprising a number of former US ambassadors to Egypt, including Frank Wisner.

On 11/2/2017: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held a meeting with a delegation from the US Congress chaired by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, the founder of Congressional Friends of Egypt Caucus.

On 19/2/2017: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received a delegation of US and Jewish organizations.

On 26/2/2017: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Commander of US Central Command Joseph L. Votel. President Sisi hailed as "strategic and special" military relations with Washington. Sisi called for boosting international coordination to reach a joint and integrated strategy to face challenges, atop of which terrorism, Presidential Spokesman Alaa Youssef said.

On 27/2/2017: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held a meeting with US State Secretary Rex Tillerson in Washington. The meeting focused on the deeply-rooted strategic relations binding Egypt and the US over decades.

On 1/4/2017: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi arrived in Washington on an official visit to the US at an invitation by US President Donald Trump. The visit comes as part of the two countries' keenness on promoting strategic relations. El Sisi met Trump, Egyptian community in Washington, CEO of General Electric Company, speaker of US House of Representatives, US National Security Adviser and US Secretary of State.

On: 6/4/2017: Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish received a delegation from the US National War College, accompanied by the US naval attaché, at the authority headquarters in Ismailia.


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