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Sissi’s Election as President: What Does It Mean for Egypt?

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Sissi’s Election as President: What Does It Mean for Egypt? – Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah
(dailyalert.org, Jun. 6, 2014)

Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is the first Egyptian president who has not participated in a war with Israel. When the moment was ripe, Sissi moved to repair a historic mistake made by the Muslim Brotherhood, after it sought to emasculate the Egyptian military and deny it its traditional role as the gatekeeper, power broker, and guarantor of modern Egypt.

The eradication of the jihadists in Sinai is of crucial importance to the national security of Egypt. Past experience has shown that jihadistorganizations inside Egypt have chosen Sinai as a safe haven for their training. Moreover, Sissi will have to maintain a close grip on the Gaza Strip, which has proven to be a safe haven for many terrorists who escaped from Sinai.

Egyptian politicians had always claimed that the terms of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel infringed upon Egyptian sovereignty. Nevertheless, under Sissi the negotiations that took place allowed a meaningful change in the redeployment of the Egyptian army in Sinai – a de facto alteration of the peace treaty duly accepted by Israel. As a matter of fact, the peace treaty with Israel was now being honored on its own merits and not as an imposed condition for obtaining American economic and military aid. Oddly enough, it was the pro-Israel lobby in Washington that mobilized in order to convince the U.S. administration to continue its economic and military assistance to Egypt.

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)


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