US-Egypt: Time to part ways?

Steve Cook on the NGO affair and what it means for Egypt-US relations:

If there is a bit of healthy distance between the two countries, Egypt might regain some of its lost regional luster, Washington will not be an easy target to blame if the Egyptian transition falters, and the two countries could very well find their way back to each other not as strategic partners, but as respectful allies. Whatever the long-term outcome, Washington and Cairo need to release themselves from their mutual tribulations.  The relationship is outmoded as it is currently configured.  It’s time to untangle ties before any more damage is done.

I feel like I've been saying this for years. It's probably better for both countries to shed the old baggage and restart on a new footing. And I should note that, as an American, I'm very supportive of bilateral collaboration with Egypt on all sorts of things – especially infrastructure, education and technology – but not under the old Camp David framework. 

And I'd love to see things start off on the US side with a commitment to full transparency on the bilateral relationship, because Washington could be as secretive as Cairo on many aspects of it when the citizens of both countries deserved better.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.