Foreign Policy in Morsi’s Presidential Election Platform
Regional and International Leadership
For decades, Egypt’s foreign policy was lost and confused on paths, conflicting with national security requirements and aspirations of the Egyptian people, departing away from the strategic interests of the Egyptian State. Thus were wasted potential foreign policy opportunities, leading to the loss of much of Egypt’s power and prestige at regional and international levels.
Now, together as we begin to rebuild our country as a modern, powerful State, we must re-formulate Egypt’s foreign policy on new bases that fulfill the requirements of this historic task, interact with the conscience of the great Egyptian people, and establish an active role for Egypt in the regional and international arena.
Egypt’s foreign policy must accord with its nature and its potential as a pivotal power at the Arab, African, Islamic and international levels. That policy should also enable the country to act as an independent, conscious, active and effective player.
Bases of our vision for Egyptian foreign policy:
♦ A balanced approach to the various ‘affiliation circles’ on the regional and international scene, and revival of the regional role of Egypt at all Arab, African and Islamic levels, with an eye to serving Egypt’s greater strategic interests, allowing it to forge better relations at all levels and ensuring Egypt has an effective presence in the international arena.
♦ An open-door approach to all States, in a manner that reflects and expresses the conscience of the Egyptian people, and finding commonalities that achieve our interests. This has become a necessity imposed by the reality of international relations and confirmed by the negative consequences of the Egyptian experience in recent years.
♦ Commitment to established principles and values of foreign relations integrated in a policy that protects the rights of Egyptians, expresses the people’s aspirations, and upholds the dignity of Egyptians, away from dependence on or subordination to international powers or neglecting Egyptian interests.
The formulation of effective foreign policy is one of the most important elements of state-building and the promotion of its role on regional and international levels. Furthermore, Egypt’s regional status makes the Egyptian orientation in foreign policy a favorable discourse for many countries in the region. This doubles the responsibility borne by Egyptian foreign policy, especially in this important stage of the country’s history.
First: Egypt’s approach to affiliation circles:
Arab affiliation circle
1. Support the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle to restore their rights, establish their own State and liberate their land; to support their cause on the international scene; and to coordinate with countries that adopt policies in favor of Palestinian rights irrespective of their geographical locations or political orientations.
2. Consolidate and strengthen relations with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and revive political and economic cooperation and promote bilateral trade, cultural and scientific exchange to advance Egyptian – Gulf interests.
3. Restore Egyptian presence in the Arab world by reviving the Egyptian role in building Arab-Arab relations and encouraging economic integration among all Arab countries by supporting the liberalization of inter-Arab regional trade, and the formation of a common Arab market as well as raising the level of trade exchange and adopting all policies and procedures that support this effort.
4. Lead the process of reforming the Arab League (AL) through the Charter and the mechanisms of action, encourage Arab support for the AL, and activate its role in the international arena.
5. Boost, redirect and develop Egyptian-Sudanese relations; and activate the Four Freedoms to assist in achieving economic partnership at grassroots level between Egypt and Sudan.
6. Adopt an open-door approach to all Arab countries especially the Gulf countries and Maghreb (Northwest Africa), and build Egyptian-Arab alliances on all official and popular political, economic and cultural levels.
African affiliation circle
1. Prepare a large-scale diplomatic and media plan, for all Africa, using official and public diplomacy and all media tools in African countries, with the objective of bolstering Egypt’s relations with Africa, and emphasizing the integration of Egypt in the continent on the basis of equality, justice and common interests.
2. Restore the African dimension in Egyptian foreign policy, especially with regard to the Nile Basin countries, the Horn of Africa and the main countries of the continent, as a priority.
3. Secure Egypt’s quota of Nile water and ensure its continuity; protect Egypt’s water rights in the framework of protecting the interests of all Nile Basin countries; and protect the southern Red Sea region to safeguard the Suez Canal route, and adopt policies and procedures that facilitate this.
4. Bolster economic ties with African countries by increasing trade, investments, joint economic projects and promoting interdependence and providing the requirements of economic partnership especially air and sea transport networks, and activating trade agreements.
5. Restore the Egyptian role in Africa through the support of African development and health and food security, as well as mediation in African conflicts, and providing humanitarian assistance and technical support in different areas.
6. Support scientific and cultural relations with African countries through educational and advocacy missions as well as cultural exchanges and scientific cooperation.
Islamic affiliation circle
1. Work to revive the role of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in the issues concerning the Muslim world in the international arena, and coordinate with Muslim countries of political economic weight to lead the organization’s activity in an effective manner to support the position of Muslim countries as a powerful player on the international scene.
2. Communicate with the peoples of Muslim countries through diplomatic and information tools to boost relations and stimulate tourism exchange.
3. Promote Egyptian-Turkish relations at all formal, informal and popular levels, and open horizons of cooperation between the two countries, coordinating foreign policy and security and military cooperation, and developing trade relations and cooperation in the fields of science, research and culture.
4. Strengthen the relations between Egypt and Malaysia to benefit from the experience of the Malaysia renaissance with all its aspects and facets, by investing common political discourses to activating and boosting current cooperation agreements, in addition to increasing the volume of bilateral trade and mutual investments, raising the level of technical and technological cooperation in all fields, and supporting student and cultural exchanges.
Second: US-Egyptian relations
1. Based on Egypt’s new regional status and dynamic role, reshape Egypt’s relationship with the United States on the basis of independence of decision, to build on mutual interests in the near term, and seek to replace all political economic, military and other forms of subordination in the longer term, with new forms of relationships based on balanced joint gains.
2. Focus on the bilateral dimension of US-Egyptian relations and make a distinction between the Egyptian – American relations and U.S. positive or negative relations with other states in a manner that should not impose on Egypt any specific agenda in its foreign policy as it seeks to open up to all countries that can help achieve the objectives of its foreign policy and preserve Egypt’s right to evaluate its relationship with all parties based on Egyptian interests.
3. Stimulate and develop Egyptian-American relations in economic, scientific, tourism, and technological fields, and bolster mutual relations between the Egyptian private sector and its U.S. counterpart in order to fulfill the needs of Egyptian society in development of all fields.
Third: Egyptian-European relations
1. Enhance Egyptian-European relations – both bilateral and collective – in a balanced manner, and support common discourses on the international stage in cooperation with the European Union (EU)
2. Encourage trade with EU countries and increase European investments in Egypt through the activation of existing agreements and opening new horizons with a focus on areas of productivity and technical disciplines, especially in the fields of education, training and transfer of expertise.
3. Cooperate with Mediterranean countries through the Euro-Mediterranean Parliament in the areas of environmental protection, reduction of climate change effects and active participation in building mechanisms and programs of legal migration in order to preserve the rights and dignity of Egyptians abroad.
Fourth: Egyptian-Asian relations
1. Revive stagnant relations with countries of the Asian continent to support openness to and learning from experiences of Asian renaissance and especially ‘Asian tigers’, cooperate in political discourses and support common issues in the international arena.
2. Raise the level of economic cooperation and increase investment and trade exchange as well as cooperation in the fields of information technology and telecommunications, energy and pharmaceutical manufacturing, with concomitant transfer of modern technology and advanced knowledge acquisition.
3. Encourage tourism from Asian countries to Egypt, with an eye to increasing tourist numbers, through better and increased advertising in Asian markets.
4. Transfer experience of education systems and mechanisms of eradicating illiteracy and dealing with the problems of population growth and employment in some Asian countries which achieved successes in those areas.
Fifth: Egyptian relations with the rest of the world
1. Strengthen relationships and partnerships with the BRICS Group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as a rising international actor on the international scene, and coordinate with them in matters relating to common strategic discourses.
2. Turn towards South American countries as a next step in making progress on the African level, and engage them in development of economic relations and coordination on global issues of common interest.