On Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 leaders from the public and private sector in both the United States and Egypt joined together in Washington, DC to discuss the shifting nature of Egypt on a regional and international focus. These individuals specifically focused on the country’s partnership with the United States.
Panel 2: Counterterrorism and Regional Security
The second panel of the day, Counter Terrorism and Regional Security, had General Carter Ham and Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba discussing the recent terrorism spike in Egypt, its implications for the region, and what key issues both Cairo and Washington can focus on to overcome this terrorism threat.
To summarize General Ham, Egypt matters and the United States can find ways to help the security threat by sending an ambassador to Cairo, help Egypt plan and conduct regional security exercises throughout Africa, support the reintegration of Egypt with the African Union, and look for opportunities to continue counter terrorism activities in the Sinai. He finishes by saying that the relationship with Egypt is not a black and white question, but is a complex one that must consider the United States’ strategic interests, as well as promote its core values.
Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba discussion focused on the fact that Egypt must establish stability before it can truly solve the economic issues plaguing the nation. In order for businesses to invest in, for tourists to travel to, and for Egyptians to believe in Egypt, there must be a secure and stable state.
General Ham concluded the discussion by saying that establishing security and stability is a necessary precursor to improving the economy, but it is how Egyptian security forces establish stability that matters, and the new government must consider human rights and be in accordance with the rule of law.