Dr. Joseph Ramez Ameen (Egyptian diplomat)
Experts and specialists on foreign policy and international relations believe that every country has a slogan or a principle in its of foreign policy practice: just as the United States and European countries raise the principle of democracy, human rights, and sometimes the environment, and Japan and China to some extent raise the slogan of development with a different principle, Egypt is raising the slogan of “national unity” established in the homeland for more than 14 centuries.
Factors lead the work with slogan of national unity in Egyptian foreign policy:
1-The established historical framework in the doctrine of Egyptian politics over centuries, which is aligned to national unity about 14 centuries ago.
2-The regional geographical framework, where Egypt is, is full of religious pluralism, not only Sunnis and Shiites, but also Christian denominations, and multi-ethnic, especially in the African continent which is full of races, nationalities and languages. Terrorist groups such as IS and others damaged the national unity fabric in the Arab world and insulted the Arab Christians.
3-The principles laid down by Egypt in its foreign policy since the revolution of July 1952, and despite the divergence of orientations from one political system to the next, but these principles bore great moderation and wisdom. These principles became entrenched in the revolution of January 2011, and the moderate trends of President Sisi, internally and externally.
Manifestations of the impact of the national unity slogan on Egyptian foreign policy:
1-Non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries under any name, on the grounds that it rejects any interference in its affairs.
2- Respect for the Coptic minority in Egypt. And as an extension of this respect, Egypt respects the other minorities in the world as its foreign policy in that regard stems from this concept.
3-Spreading the idea of the national unity framework to the Egyptian and Arab communities abroad, extending to almost all Egyptian diplomatic missions abroad.
4- Egypt’s ambassadors congratulate Coptic and Muslim communities in various religious festivals and events, visiting and attending religious celebrations and conveying congratulations to the political leadership of these communities.
5-Possibility of military intervention when necessary, as happened with IS group in Sirte, Libya following the slaughter of Egyptian Coptic workers in February 2015.
By this intervention, Egypt State proves that it does not discriminate its sons: Christian or Muslim, and is ready to deter in this regard, especially against extremist group who threaten the religious unity.
Although the idea of extremism and terrorism is prevalent today, especially in the Middle East and Africa, the current regional and international situation is suffering from the brunt of this extremism and terrorism. The national regimes, along with moderates and middlemen, are working to get rid of these phenomena and to preserve the spirit of unity and brotherhood that will naturally be reflected in foreign policy, and its moderation. Consolidating the concept of national unity, perhaps support for cultural and educational phenomena common, such as mixed religious singing teams, the house of the Egyptian family, which includes Al-Azhar, the Church and many intellectuals, consolidating the concept of national unity in universities, schools and workplaces, and joint coordination among social agencies, Coptic and Islamic, both inside and outside Egypt, reinforce and strengthen the idea of national unity.
– This research paper was presented to the Conference on “Pluralism and Peaceful coexisting in Egypt”.
University of Ain Shams, 2- 4 May, 2017
Prepared by Dr. Joseph Ramez Ameen, Media Advisor/ General Information Service.