A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Maj. Gen. El-Assar of SCAF Speaks in Washington

I haven't even watched the bulk of this myself yet, but Maj. Gen. Said El-Assar, the Egyptian Deputy Defense Minister for United States Affairs, has been in DC with the white paper delegation Egypt sends every year to lobby for their aid package. I've met with him on some of his past visits, but his importance is much enhanced this year: he's now on the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and is, in fact, one of its most visible and audible voices; with so much of SCAF remaining quiet, El-Assar has been one of the most familiar faces, frequently appearing on TV; he may wield more power on SCAF than his title or two-star rank would indicate. As I said, I haven't even watched all of this myself yet (I've seen a bit over half), but he spoke at the US Institute for Peace a couple of days ago, and his comments to the effect that the Muslim Brotherhood does not pose a threat have gotten most of the attention. But the whole conversation, with Bill Quandt, is worth watching:

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