Egypt’s Move towards Russia Hints at Shifting Regional Alliances – Ahmed Eleiba
Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s recent visit to Russia marks a major turning point in strategic relations between Cairo and Moscow, and also served to hand a “yellow card” to Washington. The U.S. is in the process of formulating new security arrangements in the Middle East after having acknowledged that its influence in the region had reached an unprecedented low. At the same time, Russian foreign policy is acquiring a stronger profile in the region.
Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, who served in senior posts in the Departments of State and Defense, admires Field Marshal El-Sisi for his political realism and believes that the U.S. should engage him in dialogue more actively. He also accepts and understands why El-Sisi has turned to Russia. “I do not have a polite way to express my opinion of what U.S. foreign policy makers are doing in the region,” he says. “They have no clear idea about what is happening there.”
“Egypt is an important country for the U.S. We helped remove Mubarak from power. But in the absence of a healthy state of transition it was only to be expected the Muslim Brotherhood would come to power and not those who made the revolution against Mubarak. My advice now is to support the army in Egypt and the military establishment in order to help make up for the abuses the Muslim Brotherhood committed, on the one hand, and to move towards the political realism that Egypt needs, on the other. I should add, here, that transitional phases can take decades until there is a robust civil society and democratic culture.” (Al-Ahram-Egypt)