With Morsy, an untested relationship between the US and Brotherhood

News article, posted 07.12.2012, from Egypt, in:
Maggie Hyde
With Morsy, an untested relationship between the US and Brotherhood (Photo: AP)

The specifics remain unclear, but Mohamed Morsy’s presidency is ushering in a new and unprecedented relationship between Egypt and its longtime ally the United States.

If the alliance between the countries remains as it has in past years, it would be the closest level of cooperation between the US and a democratically elected Arab president to-date.

Both sides are still feeling out the possibilities, but in its early stages, it appears to be an active relationship.

Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns visited Cairo 6-8 July, bringing with him a message of congratulations from US President Barack Obama.

After what Burns called a “very constructive visit,” he said in a statement that Egyptians and the international community will be looking to Morsy and his cabinet to “take needed steps to advance national unity and build an inclusive government that embraces all of Egypt's faiths and respects the rights of women and secular members of society.”

Burns visit is soon to be followed by one from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will be in Cairo on 14 July.

In her most recent statements, after Morsy ordered the reassembly of the recently dissolved Parliament, Clinton has taken a cautionary tone.

She urged “intensive dialogue” between parties in power, and said democracy was about more than elections.

“It is about creating a vibrant, inclusive political dialogue, listening to civil (society), having good relations between civilian officials and military officials, where each is working to serve the interests of the citizens,” she said in a press conference in Hanoi, another stop on her trip. 

But perhaps the strongest sign of real, fledgling cooperation is an invitation for Morsy to come to the US.

“President Obama extended an invitation to President Morsy to visit the United States when he attends the UN General Assembly in September,” presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali told Reuters after Morsy met with Burns in Cairo. Burns made no mention of a planned visit.


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