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Biden and Egypt’s Vital Issues
Joe Biden and Barack Obama in Springfield, Illinois after Obama introduced Biden as his running mate on Aug. 23, 2008. (Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia Commons)

Biden and Egypt’s Vital Issues

Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt, December 12

As the world prepares for a new American president to step into office, many questions have arisen about the possible policies and paths this new administration might pursue. In Egypt, Biden’s victory in the election was met with contradictory reactions. On the one hand, this victory was greeted with extreme suspicion by those who fear that the Biden administration would follow a similar path to that of Barack Obama, and strengthen — or, at the very least turn a blind eye to — the Muslim Brotherhood. During the Obama and Biden years, many voices in Washington DC called to engage in direct dialogues with the Brotherhood and viewed it as a possible alternative to the existing government, a sentiment that was reflected in the actions of Obama’s team. On the other hand, others thought about Biden’s victory as a cause for celebration. Namely, because it marks the end of the Trump era, in which the United States promoted authoritarianism around the world. To this camp, the change in presidents symbolizes the hope that the international system will once again respect democracy, sovereignty and the rule of law. However, the truth is never black and white, and that fact of the matter is that there is room for a more nuanced political conversation about this change in administration. Biden’s ascendance into office raises three important issues for Egypt. The first pertains to national security and the border dispute with Libya. What will be the Biden administration’s stance on this issue? How will the new president address this conflict? The second issue concerns the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the handling of Egypt’s water rights. We know that the Trump administration seriously pressured the Ethiopian government to make concessions for Egypt, especially since the former was known for its extreme intransigence. But how will Biden view this dispute? Will he be supportive of Egypt’s right to the Nile water or not? Finally, there is the issue of economic and military aid to Egypt. We know that some economic aid to Egypt has been frozen due to congressional pressure during the Trump and Obama administrations. But what will happen under Biden? Will his administration respect the military commitment to Egypt, as previous American administrations have done, or will something change? All of these issues remain open questions. We hope that the answers to them will be made clear in the coming weeks and months and will satisfy us and our national interests. –Nadine Abdullah (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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