Back to the Future With Egypt’s Crony Economic Recovery Plans

Back to the Future With Egypt’s Crony Economic Recovery Plans
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, Oct. 13, 2014, Cairo, Egypt (State Department photo).

“The New Egypt” wants New York City to know that it is open for business. Coinciding with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi’s arrival in New York last month for the U.N. General Assembly meeting, billboards appeared on the sides of buses, the roofs of buildings and a huge Nasdaq video screen in Times Square, promoting Egypt’s “Peace, Prosperity and Growth,” over a Pyramid-centered mash-up of Pharaonic temples and the Suez Canal. An Egyptian businessman whom el-Sissi had in tow reportedly paid for the campaign.

Weeks later, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Cairo for a Gaza donors’ conference, where he met with el-Sissi. In a press conference on Oct. 12 with Egypt’s foreign minister, Kerry struck a familiar chord about Egypt’s financial needs and how in recent meetings el-Sissi “has underscored that the central issue to Egypt’s future is economic. You got to put people back to work; you've got to build the dignity of day-to-day life; you have to open up opportunity; you have to attract capital; you have to prove to the world that the country is stable and open for business. And that’s what the current government is working hard to do.”

That apparently includes “significant reforms and works towards economic transformation for all Egyptians.” Kerry even named a major American corporation, General Electric, that could possibly help solve Egypt’s recurring blackouts.

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