Egypt’s Relationship With The US Is On An Upswing Following US President Barack Obama’s Speech In Cairo
Egypt’s relationship with the US is on an upswing following US President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo on June 4 and President Hosni Mubarak’s subsequent trip to Washington, his first in five years. In his speech Obama said that he rejected his predecessor’s policy of coercion towards democracy, a policy that strained relations between the US and Mubarak’s regime. This will have come as a relief to Mubarak, whose government is more unpopular than ever. With public sentiment still firmly against him, and the US administration looking very conciliatory towards Middle Eastern groups of all hues, the radical Muslim Brotherhood could, with the right leadership, strengthen its position over the coming months and years.
One possible saving grace for Mubarak is the economy, which is performing better than we expected.
Data from the first three quarters of FY08/09 show a still very robust picture for real GDP growth, and we have revised up our forecasts for next year slightly. We see the final quarter bringing overall growth down sharply to 3.7% for 2008/09, and then a continued slowdown to a sluggish rate of 2.5% for 2009/10. Thereafter, growth should pick up: Egypt has sufficient potential to return to something like (albeit not quite reaching) its pre-credit crunch levels, which is not something that can be said of many economies in the current climate. However, much will depend on the fate of the global economy.
For Q309, the updated the methodology of its Terrorism Rating and expanded it to cover 170 global cities, as well as 130 states. As before, the Terrorism Rating incorporates our analysts’ qualitative view of the terrorist threat. However, it also incorporates secondary analysis of data on global terrorist incidents obtained from the US State Department’s Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (http://wits.nctc.gov/), to provide a quantitative assessment of the risks.
The composite Security Risk Rating for Egypt is 50 out of 100. Egypt’s composite domestic security risk, focusing on internal terrorism and criminal gangs, is 46. The relatively high inter-state rating has been eroded to 59. The high rating suggests that the chances of Egypt becoming a primary party to an interstate conflict are limited, at least for the medium term.
Egypt Defence and Security Report Q4 2009: http://www.companiesandmarkets.com/r.ashx?id=USMW6N796158200