The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

My first time

One more remark on the NDP’s annual conference: I think it’s the biggest (and maybe only) surprise that Gamal has declared Egypt’s ambitions to start a civil nuclear program.

As posted a few days ago, several states in the region could be pushed to start civil nuclear program as a reaction to Iranian nuclear ambitions.

As far as I recall, this is the first time for an Egyptian government or party official to talk about it publicly. I think it is also the first time for Gamal to talk about national security issues, which so far have been the domain of Hosni Mubarak and some security officials. This further positions Gamal, by adapting Ahmadenijads tactics of playing around with the national pride.

The US envoy to Cairo said soon afterwards that the US could be willing to cooperate with Egypt on its program.

So I would speculate that the issue was already raised when Gamal recently went to renew his pilot’s license in the US, as the NDP tried to sell his trip.

Otherwise, I think the best commentary on the NDP conference has once more been chipped in by inerrant Egyptian street humour:

“They called it ‘New thought and a second leap toward the future?’ When was the first time?�