The Huffington Post quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Amy Hawthorne on Russia’s decision to back Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in the upcoming Egyptian presidential elections:
“Putin is signaling that Sissi might be his kind of leader, which is a rebuke and alternative vision to the Western discourse on democracy and human rights in Egypt, and wants Egypt in his camp on those issues,” said Amy Hawthorne, a resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
“The U.S. seeks stability in Egypt more than anything, and is concerned that Egypt’s current path will not bring stability,” she continued, alluding to Sissi’s relentless crackdown on Islamists, government critics, journalists and academics alike. “This is an obvious difference with Moscow’s view, since Putin’s method of dealing with dissent and insurgency is very similar to Egypt’s, i.e. harsh crackdown and constriction of political rights.”