The phone call between the two presidents, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Donald Trump, and most importantly, the awaited visit by Al-Sisi to Washington both have several reasons that can be categorised into two segments.
First, the regional perspective. This is a phase in which lobbyists use all their methods of influence to serve countries and groups which the former work for, in order to put specific causes in the agenda of the American president. This is what was done by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he asked to visit the White House after the president’s inauguration.
Arab countries must have their own word especially that they have become an arena for regional non-Arab conflicts. From the point of view of the United States, Egypt is considered the main partner in the region, and the American president must hear directly from the leaders of the region their views about solving the region’s issues.
Egypt and its current leadership have proven that they are more realistic in terms of its solutions compared to many surrounding countries; hence, it is necessary not to leave the arena to Israel or two countries that prefer their national interests over the region’s general stability.
Moreover, Egypt needs international support to maintain its water security and receive proper support in its war on terrorism, especially seeing that the American president seems to be understanding of the dilemma of religion trade in the region.
The Arab-Israeli conflict will enter a dangerous phase if the American president fulfilled his promise to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The possibility of, specifically this president compared to any other American president, actually making this happen is very high. Because this president does not see himself as a partisan one, he rather disavows republican leadership and declares overtly that he will do what he thinks is in the country’s best interest, despite those who claim that the they are experts who know what should be done for America’s best interest.
There is a possibility that this man would make the decision to move the embassy the way he strongly condemned the US for refraining from voting in the UN security council vote condemning Israeli settlement expansion.
It is better for everyone if that man does not move the embassy, and we must make the dangers of this decision clear to him given the impact it will have on Palestine, the Arab world, and internationally.
The only gain for us Arabs from such a decision would be for Trump to declare that he will move the embassy to West Jerusalem, while admitting that East Jerusalem is an occupied land. This way, we will have taken a small step on the path of American recognition, then an international one, of the fact that it is not Israel’s right to join East Jerusalem to Israel in accordance with many international decisions in this regard.
The second segment is from a local perspective. Egypt is a country that is economically ambitious and requires from the US financial and material support, whether through modern technology, allocating more grants, injecting more investments, or even removing the travel warning for Americans visiting Egypt.
Egypt has one of the strongest armies in the region with armament deals that are mostly without American manufacturing, which means that the US has lost its military partnership with Egypt after the US stopped providing aid to Egypt prior to Trump’s victory and the resumption of aid.
There is a large responsibility on Al-Sisi to provide an integrated Egyptian vision for the problems of the region to the new resident of the White House.