The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Albright at Ibn Khaldun

Ehab Hashish & others working for the Kuwaiti Daily, al-Rai al-Aam, published a story on the front page of their newspaper (27th of January 2005) detailing an Albright-led delegation's visit to Cairo's Ibn Khaldun Center. If Chatham House rules were in effect, this is a violation because they names names and cites direct quotes.

To quote the frm sec of state (I am citing and translating her quotes from Hashish's article):

- "We cannot impose from outside - every country has to implement a democracy that suits it"

- "How do you [Egypt] make a viable opposition that will be popular. We want to support such a movement but how do we do that and not take away from its legitmacy?"

- "Is it possible to support a opposition movement without internally destabilizing?"

- "We have the tools to help. How do we do it without imposing [reform?]. There are many ways to help that don't have to look like they come from America"

- "Democracy creates stability and authoritarianism creates instability." (here she is quoting Clinton)

- "Egypt is a mediator and relations with the US go up and down. But they are important. No one denies that Egypt is regionally important. It is significant because of its relationship with America, its relations in the Arab-Israel conflict, and broker role with other Arab states."

We are all lucky to have Hashish's insightful record of the meeting.