How to Promote Human Rights in Egypt

Human Rights First

The United States’ relationship with Egypt is central toseveral policy challenges facing the new administration inthe Middle East. As the most populous Arab state, Egyptis a major regional power. Since signing a peace treatywith Israel in 1979, it has played a key role in negotiationsfor an Israeli-Palestinian and a broader Israeli-Arab peaceagreement. Egypt helped to mediate a tense ceasefirebetween Israel and Hamas that broke down with theoutbreak of conflict in the Gaza Strip at the end ofDecember 2008, and continues to serve as anintermediary between the warring parties in the Gazaconflict. Egypt is again at the center of renewed peacemaking efforts in the region launched by the Obamaadministration with the appointment of former SenatorGeorge Mitchell as Special Envoy in January 2009.In a part of the world where so many vital U.S. interestsare at stake, Egypt is a key partner for any U.S.administration. The Egyptian government can greatlyassist the United States in legitimizing and supporting thenew government in Iraq, for example, and, as the owner ofthe Suez Canal and as an oil producer, Egypt is vital tothe security of energy supplies from the region.Egypt is also a testing ground for U.S. human rightspromotion in the region, and was frequently the target ofexhortations to move forward with political reform anddemocratization during the Bush administration.Successive administrations have been encouraging theEgyptian government to reform for decades, but after the9/11 attacks, with the prominent involvement of Egyptianslike Mohamed Atta and Ayman al-Zawahiri, calls forreform took on greater centrality—and a new urgency—inU.S. policy. Human rights and democracy were no longerjust desirable; they became national security concernsand the subject of a new “Freedom Agenda.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: EgyptFeaturedMuslim BrotherhoodStudies & Researches

Tags:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

Get Adobe Flash player