September 18, 2021

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Negative American neutrality does not serve Egypt

Egypt seeks to stop the second filling of the dam (Eduardo Soutras / AFP)

Egyptian and Western diplomatic sources based in Cairo described the US decision By unlinking the suspension of US aid It is worth $ 272 million to Ethiopia, in the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and its connection In the internal civil conflict in the Tigray region Al-Shamali, as a joint message to Cairo and Addis Ababa, of their commitment to “negative neutrality at the current stage” regarding the Renaissance Dam file, especially if the decision on Ethiopia was placed in the context of the decision issued at the end of last week, approving a possible sale of tactical missiles with an air structure. 2 “and related equipment, at an estimated cost of $ 197 million for Egypt.”
The sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the administration of US President Joe Biden, “deliberately made this amendment to the sanctions policy against Ethiopia, as a natural result of its great and clear interest in the Ethiopian domestic situation – since before its official arrival at the White House.” And the conflict between the government of Abi Ahmed and the nationality of Tigrayans This is against the backdrop of the strong relationship between former officials and diplomats of this nationalism and influential figures in the Biden administration, such as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Susan Rice. In addition to the work of the figures and groups supporting Ethiopia in Washington to separate the issue of the Renaissance Dam, and the administration’s position opposing the recent policies of Abu Ahmed, whether in civil battles and the way to deal with national problems at home, or in the political escalation with Sudan and Egypt regionally, so that this separation led to Preventing the White House from taking sharp positions against Addis Ababa regarding the dam in particular, and preventing statements interpreted as support for the Egyptian position, as was the case publicly during the era of former President Donald Trump.

Cairo needs a clear external political intervention in the Renaissance Dam crisis

The sources added that the opinion is stable in the White House at present Current sanctions imposed on Addis Ababa As it is in its quantitative framework, without increasing its influence on the strategic relations between the two countries, based on an American belief rooted in democratic circles, stating that increasing sanctions on African countries and recurring crises with them will lead to further erosion of American influence in Africa, south of the Sahara, in the interest of a greater Chinese influence, especially in the east of the continent.
On the other hand, removing the cause of the Renaissance Dam from the existing sanctions in their current extent, in exchange for Egypt agreeing to the arms deal with its various symbols, confirms the Biden administration’s dissatisfaction with any hint at the use of military force to solve the issue. It is an option that Trump had indicated last fall, despite not mentioning a statement in any official speeches about Egypt since the beginning of the crisis, and only hinting at it implicitly several times, through the simultaneous meetings of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with the military leadership with the complexity of negotiations.

However, the Egyptian sources confirmed that the negative neutrality towards the crisis does not work at all in the interest of Egypt, for with the difficulty and complexity of calculating the solutions available to it to resolve the issue by force, whether for military, geographical, political and international strategic reasons, and America, China and European powers do not allow the conflict to reach this point. Cairo needs a clear external political intervention in the crisis before Second  filling of the dam, In order to prevent it until the operating rules and filling are agreed upon in the following stages. The current developments certainly reflect the failure of the Egyptian attempts to stabilize the official US position pressing on Ethiopia or extract the best that could be expected from the Biden administration, through the efforts of propaganda and political mobilization in Washington and New York, over the past two months.

Egyptian attempts to stabilize the official US position on Ethiopia failed

On the ninth of this month, the “New Arab” revealed that The Egyptian embassy in Washington has requested a “Braunstein Hyatt Farber partner” For public relations and political pressure, focus in the coming period on bringing together some American politicians of African descent, to persuade them to participate in the campaign pursued by Egypt to stabilize the current official US position on the Renaissance Dam file, and to prevent the new administration of the White House from drifting in response to the intense propaganda activity of Ethiopia in conjunction with Wide groups of representatives of African descent.
However, this late focus on the Renaissance Dam did not succeed in bridging the distance between the ability of both Egyptians and Ethiopians to mobilize in certain circles, especially within the Democratic Party and research centers, and the saturation of these sites with Ethiopian propaganda that classifies Egypt as an aggressor of sovereign rights and a monopoly over the waters of the Nile, especially The events and meetings that were organized by some former MPs for the company – which receives $ 65,000 a month from Egypt – such as the former Alaska Democratic Representative Mark Begich, showed that they focus on other issues of concern to the ruling regime in Egypt, while the Renaissance Dam issue requires Special focus, especially since the Egyptian regime considers it more sensitive than ever before.
In a related context, well-informed Egyptian sources revealed that the General Intelligence issued instructions to the Egyptian media and the concerned political and diplomatic institutions not to comment on the statements issued by the President of the National Border Commission in Sudan, Moaz Tango, last Thursday, about his country’s official protest against the African Union Commission. For adopting a map that includes the “Halayeb and Shalateen” triangle within Egypt’s southern borders, and saying that Khartoum will present protest notes from parties, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to push them through the official channels of the African Union. The sources pointed out that Sisi’s constituency considers such statements as “attempts by parties within Sudan to exploit the state of political liquidity there, to strike at the existing coordination between Sisi and the current sovereign council against Abi Ahmed,” whether in the file of the Renaissance Dam or the escalating border conflict between Ethiopia and Sudan, and that it must Missing the opportunity to enter Cairo and Khartoum in old disputes like Halayeb and Shalateen, or on the margins such as the problems of border crossings.
This comes while The envoy of the African Union Commission to Sudan review, Mohamed El Hassan Ould Labat, on the adoption or approval of the Union of any maps confirming the dependency of the Halayeb border triangle to Egypt. Labat said in media statements yesterday, “The organization only passed papers that it received from a member state, to other countries, and this does not mean that it adopts the content.”