U.S-Egypt to pursue ‘strategic interests’ together

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The new Egypt says it would preserve its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, and work closely with the United States on counter-terrorism. This eases fears that post Hosni Mubarak-Egypt would steer a more independent course from Washington as far as foreign policy is concerned.

The United States is trying to keep Egypt as a major ally but the African nation which is swinging in an air of revolution after overthrowing its authoritarian leader seeks a new path. Former National Security Council under President George W. Bush’s administration told reporters Cairo may no longer be the cornerstone of US diplomacy in the region.

“The likely outcome of Egypt is a government that is more independent in foreign policy and will not support US and Israeli policies regarding Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, everything on the US agenda,” Leverett said.

Egyptians prepare to vote on Saturday on a series of amendments to the constitution that are intended to make way for a swift return to civilian rule.

However, U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is confident the revolution will include a healthy diplomatic relation between both countries and Israel, pledging that the United States would stand by Egyptians as they pursue vast change.

Strategic interests

Some of the bold changes have been made by Interior Minister Mansur al-Issawi. He has disbanded the long-feared security police in a restructuring that had long been demanded by pro-democracy activists.

Flying to Egypt for the first time after the ousting of Mubarak, Clinton told at a press conference with her Egyptian counterpart, Nabil al-Arabi, at the old foreign ministry building, that the two countries share strategic interests together.

“This moment in history belongs to you. You broke barriers and overcame obstacles to pursue the dream of democracy, and the United States and President (Barack) Obama and I will stand with you as you make this journey. Egypt and the United States have many strategic interests in common. A democratic Egypt will continue to have strategic interests in common with the United States,” Clinton told reporters.

Clinton promised more U.S. economic assistance to Egypt, some of it to promote small and medium-sized businesses. Her hopes for a better relationship that would include peaceful co-existence with Israel and the battle against terrorism were corroborated by Nabil al-Arabi who is in charge of post Mubarak Egypt:

“It’s moving ahead strongly. All the points made by the secretary of state are extremely encouraging,” Nabil said referring to a question on US-Egyptian ties.

Clinton also applauded Interior Minister Mansur al-Issawi for his leadership and adherence to the wishes of the people after he [Mansur] announced a replacement security arm, to be called National Security, that will be restricted to “guarding the domestic front and battling terrorism.”

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