Tuesday, March 21, 2017

To foreign ministries in the global north, Sisi is a familiar face in an ever-more unfamiliar region – and one that they’re ready to do business with. In the past two years Egypt has signed major new arms deals with both the US and France. Donald Trump has labelled his Egyptian counterpart ‘a fantastic guy’. In late 2015, David Cameron rolled out the red carpet for Sisi at Downing Street; Theresa May has promised ‘a new chapter in bilateral relations’ between the UK and Egypt and as I speak Boris Johnson is in Cairo, drumming up trade deals. Italy did, thanks to popular pressure on the ground, temporarily withdraw its ambassador to Egypt in protest at Giulio’s murder. But between 2011 and 2013 alone, Italy sold Egypt more than half a billion euros worth of guns and bullets. The police trucks that many of the journalists and political prisoners I mentioned earlier found themselves locked up in after being dragged from their homes in the night are manufactured by the Italian company Iveco. Giulio’s disappearance occurred as an Italian government business delegation toured Cairo; this very month, the Italian energy giant Eni has announced $10 billion worth of investment in Egypt over the next five years. In 2015 I watched then Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi address Sisi from the stage at a major economic conference in Sharm el-Sheikh and declare, to thunderous applause, “Your war is our war, and your stability is our stability.” Who cares about Giulio?

Those so-called NGOs, "human rights" activitists, etc. shouldn't they pack and go back to where they come from to fight against the regimes in their countries and leave the Egyptians fight their own war against the dictatorship. On, no, but the Egyptians are unfit. We, the new missionaries, need to show them the way.

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