A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Egypt's New Foregn Minister: More Cautious?

Muhammad El ‘Orabi has been named Egypt's new Foreign Minister. The job had fallen vacant when Nabil ElAraby, who'd been holding it, was elected the new Secretary-General of the Arab League. 

Though several other candidates had been mentioned, ‘Orabi, a former Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs,  may be a logical pick as a transitional Minister until an elected government can be formed, but that also means, as this analysis laments, he probably will not rock the boat or diverge much from the policies of the Mubarak era. ElAraby, on the contrary, had pursued new courses, with policies less aligned with the US and more critical of Israel. ‘Orabi, who served as a deputy chief of mission in Tel Aviv in the 1990s, is likely to be less confrontational. A former soldier and son of a former Chief of Staff, he is likely to be trusted by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, though reports like the last link above saying he was personally close to the Mubarak family and supportive of Gamal's succession, he may not sit so well with he revolutionary youth.

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