Thursday, March 8, 2012

Egyptian Ties with US on Civil Society Rocks

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Mar 8, 2012 (IPS) - Egypt's legal campaign against a handful of foreign NGOs reached a crescendo last week with the repatriation of several U.S. nationals indicted on charges of engaging in unauthorised civil society activity. But many local analysts believe the latest developments - far from signifying the end of the crisis - portend nothing less than a seismic shift in Egypt's longstanding "strategic relationship" with the U.S.

A year after Mubarak's ouster, Egypt-U.S. relations have come to a crossroads," Tarek Fahmi, political science professor at Cairo University, told IPS. "The issue of foreign-directed 'civil society' groups has led to the first fundamental crisis between the two countries in more than 30 years.".....

Fahmi, however, like many other local observers, doesn't see things going back to business as usual.

"Judging by its recent behaviour, Washington continues to act as if the Mubarak regime - which never dreamed of challenging the U.S. - was still in power," he said. "It doesn't seem to have realised that here was a revolution in Egypt - and that it can now therefore expect a degree of resistance to its diktats." "

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