Egypt and The United States of America
ID # 1108905
Dr. Ronald Behringer
POLI 205/4 C
Due: 14th of March 2011
Relationship between Egypt and The United States of America
After thirty years of silence, inspired by current world events and triggered by the Tunisian revolution, the Arab Republic of Egypt went through a crucial time-period, which the world now knows as January 25th Revolution. Protestors’ demands were met after eighteen days of demonstrations in Tahrir Square (Liberation Square), when the former president Muhammad Hosni Mubarak decided to step down. President Obama did not make any public statement until three days after the protests have started, stating that he urged President Mubarak to take action immediately in the reformation of a new government to meet the Egyptian people’s demands (White House, par 5). He also mentioned that the Egyptian government should hold back from any violence against peaceful protestors. It was very clear through President Obama’s speech that “The United States always will be a partner in pursuit of that future” and that the American government is “committed to working with the Egyptian government and the Egyptian people”. The strong alliance between Egypt and The United States goes back to 1975 when the U.S. declared its extensive aid program to Egypt (Your Egypt, par 6). This was the same year the second disengagement agreement between Egypt and Israel was carried out after the war has ended in October 1973. The United States and the Soviet Union have exerted massive amounts of efforts trying to carry out peace treaties between the two countries during the 1970s. In a surprising form, Egypt’s president at that time, Anwar El Sadat, has decided to visit Jerusalem and meet with the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in November 1977. This move was highly tolerated by the United States and the rest of the world, which eventually led to a virtual agreement between both sides in 1978, and therefore Sadat and Begin were both awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the year 1978 (Nobel Prize). On the other hand, many Arab leaders were in total disappointment this treaty and considered it a tremendous betrayal, which led to the expulsion of Egypt from the Arab League and the assassination of President Sadat. Ever since Sadat signed the peace treaties, his vice-president and successor President Mubarak managed to successfully keep them operating until today. Egypt formed a strong friendly relationship with the United States, as they both share similar concerns, primarily the spread of peace and stability across the Middle East. Both countries acted as great hosts to many conferences to help strengthen relationships between the United States, Israel and other Arab States. The first and most famous Arab-Israeli treaty was held on U.S. soil in Camp David and witnessed by the American Commander-in-chief Jimmy Carter (U.S. Department of State). The military relationship between the U.S and Egypt is decades old and it benefits both countries. The U.S. supplies Egypt with almost everything including tanks and fighter jets. The U.S. in return gets the right to fly over Egypt’s premises, desert-training exercises and a fast pass granted to its naval vessels when passing through the Suez Canal. The Egyptian army is not just supplied by the United States, but a one billion dollar aid per year is given to the Egyptian military alone, which covers almost eighty percent of all expenses. The U.S. in return has a “foothold” in the Middle East through Egypt, since the U.S. Navy sends an average of one dozen warships to Iraq and Afghanistan every month. Not only does Egypt allow them through the canal, but it also accelerates the process while ships from other countries have to wait for weeks (Bowman, par 2). According to Jeremy Sharp, Egypt is the 48th largest trading partner of the U.S. while the U.S. is Egypt’s largest trade partner.