Global Insider: Egypt-Iraq Relations

Egypt recently opened a consulate in Erbil, making it the first Arab country with diplomatic representation in Iraqi Kurdistan. In an e-mail interview, Michael Wahid Hanna, a fellow and program officer at the Century Foundation, discussed Egypt-Iraq relations.

WPR: Historically, how would you characterize bilateral relations between Egypt and Iraq?

Michael Wahid Hanna: Following a rupture over Anwar Sadat's overture to Israel in 1977, bilateral ties between Egypt and Iraq improved due to Egyptian support for Iraq in its protracted war with Iran. But relations were dealt a subsequent blow by Egypt's decision to take a military role in the coalition of forces that took on Iraq's Baathist regime in the 1991 Gulf War. The decision was important as a signifier of Cairo's understanding of its interests as tightly linked to U.S. regional foreign-policy priorities. Cooperation with its primary ally, the U.S., was and is a key determinant of Egyptian security, military and foreign policy.

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