Opinion: U.S. can't force democracy on Egypt
August 20th, 2013
03:02 PM ET

Opinion: U.S. can't force democracy on Egypt

By Anthony H. Cordesman, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Anthony H. Cordesman holds the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Follow CSIS on Twitter.

(CNN) - There are no good or easy solutions for U.S. policy toward Egypt, and short-sighted arguments about military aid miss the broader issues entirely. America is relearning the lesson of the 1950s post-colonial period: Democracy depends on stable and experienced political parties and leaders, a willingness to compromise rather than conspire and to share or give up power until the next election.


Filed under: Egypt • Muslim Brotherhood • Security Brief
As diplomacy hits a snag, U.S. eyes future with Egypt
August 7th, 2013
08:23 PM ET

As diplomacy hits a snag, U.S. eyes future with Egypt

By Elise Labott

International diplomacy hit a dead end Wednesday when the interim Egyptian government broke off talks to defuse the political crisis.

Egypt declared efforts to broker an agreement between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military-backed government a failure, putting an end to an intense effort by the United States, the European Union and other countries to end the stalemate sparked by the military's ouster of President Mohammed Morsy.

"These efforts have not achieved the hoped for results," the Egyptian presidency said in a statement on the end of the mediation. The statement placed blame on the Muslim Brotherhood.

The president thanked diplomats for mediation efforts but didn't take kindly to warnings from key U.S. senators in the region. FULL POST

What to call Egypt’s relationship with the U.S.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy
September 13th, 2012
07:20 PM ET

What to call Egypt’s relationship with the U.S.

By Jamie Crawford

President Barack Obama offered a more cautious and nuanced take than in recent memory of the United States and Egyptian relationship following an assault on the American embassy in Cairo this week.

"I don't think that we consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy," Obama said Wednesday in an interview with the Spanish language network Telemundo. "They are a new government that is trying to find its way," he said. "They were democratically elected."

Obama's comments were taken as a possible change in posture toward a country that has enjoyed billions of dollars in U.S. military and economic assistance since the signing of a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 – the linchpin of security in the volatile region.

Romney, Obama navigate Arab world turmoil

"I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident," Obama went on to say in the interview. "I think it's still a work in progress. But certainly in this situation, what we're going to expect is that they are responsive to our assistance that our embassy is protected, that our personnel are protected."

Filed under: Arab Spring • Egypt • Mohamed Morsey • Muslim Brotherhood
July 15th, 2012
01:20 PM ET

Clinton urges smooth Egypt transition

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Sunday with the head of Egypt's military leadership, a day after she urged the country's first democratically elected president to "assert the full authority" of his office.

Clinton's meeting with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, held out of the view of reporters, came amid a political tug of war between President Mohamed Morsy and the military council that Tantawi heads.

Elise Labott assesses Hillary Clinton's diplomatic mission to Egypt following the secretary of state's meeting with the military.

The Muslim Brotherhood courts Washington
April 7th, 2012
09:35 AM ET

The Muslim Brotherhood courts Washington

From CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott

WASHINGTON (CNN) – For nearly three quarters of a century, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned from Egyptian politics and shunned by the West as a fundamentalist Islamic movement. 

But this week the Brotherhood sent its first official delegation to Washington, meeting with high level administration officials.

The visit was part of a global goodwill tour to soften the group’s image and introduce its political faction, the Freedom and Justice Party, which emerged from the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak to capture nearly half the seats in Egypt’s new parliament.

“We are here to start building bridges of understanding with the United States," Sondos Asem, a member of the party's foreign relations committee and editor of its official English-language website, told students at Georgetown University. "We acknowledge the very important role of the United States in the world and we would like our relations with the United States to be better than before."