Egypt is keen to strengthen its “strategic relations” with the US, and work is currently underway to prepare for the first official visit by President Mohamed Morsi to Washington, the Egyptian ambassador to the US, Mohamed Tawfik, told Ahram Online.
In an interview given to Ahram Online by phone from his office in the US capital, Tawfik, who took up his ambassadorial post in September, said that the recent re-election of US President Barack Obama could ” help keep a good pace for the upgrading of relations between the two countries” given that the current US administration, despite expected changes, is well aware of the details of Cairo-Washington ties and of the demands that Egypt has made to the US.
“Ultimately Egypt and the US do have strategic ties and ultimately it is in the interest of the US as a world power and Egypt as the central Arab state to pursue cooperation on issues of common interest; but certainly continuity is useful at this point in time,” said Tawfik.
Cairo, according to its ambassador in Washington, is going to pursue the immediate processing of an economic aid package that the US promised in the first quarter of 2011.
“The transfer of an aid package of $450 million is a priority that we are currently working on; this is the first instalment of a wider aid package that the US has promised,” Tawfik said. He added that action is already being taken and that the US administration is working with the US Congress to finalise the matter soon…
However, as Tawfik stresses, there is more than simply aid at stake.
“Upgrading trade relations, especially through granting Egyptian products better access to American markets, and encouraging direct US investment in Egypt, are also matters that we would like to pursue actively with the US,” he added.
Economy, Tawfik insisted, is a top priority in Egyptian-American relations, given that it is clearly a priority for the Egyptian state at this point in time. But this economic interest, he added, does not undermine the political cooperation between Cairo and Washington, especially in relation to regional issues – the Arab-Israeli issue being a permanent priority.
Xenophobes, the whole range of nutballs that spawned birthers in the Republican Party will suffer exploding bowels over a visit from Egypt’s new president. Democratic elections have little or nothing to do with their ideology. Middle Eastern nations that have their first democratic election in decades are still expected to rejoice over Israeli’s apartheid politics, stand hat-in-hand waiting patiently for whatever largesse Congress deems appropriate.
The new era of global relationships, in fact, isn’t run as an exclusive American-controlled club. There are dozens of other free and independent nations waiting for the United States to participate in commerce as equals – or get out of the way.