Golden Opportunity to Reset US Policy Towards Egypt

Golden Opportunity to Reset US Policy Towards Egypt

President Trump has a golden opportunity to reset US relations with Egypt making human rights a high priority while simultaneously supporting Egypt’s fight against terrorism. Egyptian President El-Sisi was the first foreign leader to call and congratulate Mr. Trump on winning the presidential election, signalling Egypt’s eagerness to form a strong relationship with the new president.

Coptic Solidarity applauds Mr. Trump’s declared intentions to combat terrorism and provides some recommendations, summarized below, for the new US administration, urging it to formulate a comprehensive foreign policy approach towards Egypt, which incorporates US values and priorities without sacrificing human rights to trade or national security:

  • Ensure swift passage and enactment of the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act. This would help provide a first step in reversing a US culture that has accepted Islamist activities to the detriment of US interests, and that of many other nations around the world.
  • The newly passed Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom (IRF) Act 2016 amends the 1998 bill and makes religious freedom an official part of US foreign policy. President Trump now has the opportunity to raise the profile of this ambassadorship to assist in creating more effective US foreign policy that simultaneously addresses national security and improves human rights worldwide.
  • Coptic Solidarity urges the US government to monitor the implementation of the new Egyptian church construction law since it contains many loopholes which can be used to deny Copts the ability to repair and build new churches.
  • The recent attacks against Copts by Islamists in Egypt have risen dramatically and reached a new high in 2016. Coptic Solidarity calls on the new administration to give a high priority to ensuring justice for Copts with Egyptian officials, to end the culture of impunity, and recommends that a percentage of US economic aid to Egypt be dedicated to compensate Coptic victims of violence for lost lives or properties.
  • Islamic terrorism cannot be defeated without confronting the ideology behind it. America should lead the world in exposing and combating these Islamist ideologies and those who promote them.
  • Coptic Solidarity welcomes the new administration’s desire to partner with Egypt to defeat terrorism, but strongly urges it to simultaneously raise and demand radical improvement in areas of human rights, individual liberties and civil society with the Egyptian government.
  • Coptic Solidarity urges the US government to pursue new ways to share American values with Egypt in areas such as educational programs and curricula that promote rational thinking, open-mindedness, and diversity.

Coptic Solidarity urges the new administration to recognize that only an open-minded forward-looking Egypt can play a positive role in defeating terrorism and improving the stability of the region.

(Source: Coptic Solidarity)