Al-Ahram quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Amy Hawthorne on the absence of a US ambassador in Egypt since August 2013:

“Not having a US ambassador in Cairo for the past seven months, and having the main voice on Egypt policy come instead from Washington, has lowered the US profile inside Egypt somewhat, which has probably helped to calm the waters a bit after the vitriolic media campaign over the summer against Ambassador Patterson,” according to Amy Hawthorne, an American expert on Egyptian affairs at the Atlantic Council in Washington.


Hawthorne believes the Obama administration’s decision not to nominate Ford for the post, after the Egyptian leadership rejected the idea, should also be seen in the context of the US wanting to avoid stirring up another anti-US backlash in Egypt. “But not having high-level US representation in Egypt also compounds the sense of drift, uncertainty, and indeed passivity in US policy towards Egypt,” she said. “This is becoming a serious problem not just with regard to Egypt, whose stability and security continue to be in question, but also for broader US strategy in the Middle East.”

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