Posts Tagged ‘Morsi’

The mess in Egypt: Restricting aid is a mistake

October 28, 2013

Richard W. Carlson (Ambassador to the Seychelles, 1991-1992)

Cross-posted from Ambassador Carlson’s October 26, 2013 op-ed in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are seriously mishandling the U.S. relationship with Egypt. By cutting off much of the $1.5 billion military assistance package, they are further spreading instability and uncertainty and guaranteeing more chaos in Egypt.

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Ambassador Stephenson on his Trip to Israel

October 22, 2013

Thomas Stephenson (Ambassador to Portugal, 2007-2009)

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As I write, I am flying back from four days in Israel during which time I participated in a series of meetings with current, and several former, senior military, intelligence, and government leaders. None of the meetings were for attribution, but I thought it would be interesting to address the questions posed (How does the government shutdown impact US foreign policy and US credibility abroad? How significant is the recent shift in US-Iran relations? What do you expect will result from the recent agreement between Secretary Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, and the Assad regime regarding the disarmament of Syria‚Äôs chemical weapons?) in the context of Israel’s precarious position with regard to most of the issues raised, and the gist of what we heard and observed regarding these issues while there.

There was concern expressed about the impact on Israel and our other trading partners of our government shutdown and potential debt default (fortunately, an agreement to kick the can down the road a few months was reached the day after our meetings concluded). Several of the people with whom we met expressed concern about the potential impact of shutdown and sequestration on our military capabilities, the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and the extent to which world financial markets and international trade have been roiled by our failure to find a solution. There is no doubt relief in many corners of the world that we have at least an interim solution.

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