Your Middle East quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Amy Hawthorne on US-Egyptian relations:
Although Obama never called July 3rd a coup, he also didn’t join the narrative that this was a popular uprising and remained critical of Morsi’s overthrow, explained Amy Hawthorne, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Center for the Middle East.
“When you have the White House saying very little, you have Kerry gushing with praise, you have the defense secretary calling El-Sisi a huge number of times last year, and then you have Obama not engaging, it’s really sending a mixed message,” said Hawthorne.
The issue for the US now is whether to make human rights the most important issue of the relationship or work with Egypt and look the other way, explains Hawthorne from the Atlantic Council.
Although the United States remains reluctant, particularly with regards to Egypt’s domestic politics, there is also an acceptance of the strategic necessity of the US-Egyptian relation, especially when considering it within the wider context of the Middle East region.
“People feel that (El-Sisi) is a very important security partner and that we have to deal with him regardless of his repressive policies and human rights abuses that are occurring in Egypt,” said Hawthorne. “So I think it is more of an acceptance that he is here to stay and this is the Egyptian reality and not being convinced that what really is going on is a democratic transition.”