Rosler seeks economic cooperation with as-sisi

Agyptian stability is center of gravity in region, wef managing director says

It was a conversation not quite on eye level. The former german minister of economics seems to fix the prayer stain on the forehead of the savior of egypt instead of looking him in the eye. So it shows the snapshot of yesterday’s meeting between philipp rosler and abdel-fattah as-sisi. Now, conversations take place in an atmosphere determined by many signals, which can tip over, so it could be taken as a stormy sign of impoliteness, if one fixes the other with the look into the eyes. And rosler certainly did not want to be unhoflich.

When not so long ago, in january 2013, egypt’s former president mohammed mursi visited the then federal minister of economics and technology in berlin, rosler explained to journalists how he had been able to rely on his interlocutor from the ranks of the muslim brotherhood "recall" the political tenet that economic investment is only conceivable if cairo guarantees respect for human rights.

Economic success for egypt, however, will only be possible in the long term if there is also social freedom.

He cited human rights and religious freedom as criteria for freedom.

Now rosler no longer holds a government post, but, since december 2013, the post of managing director at the world economic forum (rosler is moving to switzerland). This gives him new freedoms. Human rights no longer need to be addressed.

There was reason for it yesterday: as elsewhere in the world, many in cairo will have wondered how the trial that led to 683 death sentences against muslim brotherhood members in upper egypt, without lawyers being heard, can be reconciled with due process of law, which is supposed to be a cornerstone of a country’s internal stability.

The police state has an image problem

Had the wef director wanted to get an accurate picture of the country’s situation and inquire about, say, the "revolutionary youth" the wef director had wanted to get a clear picture of the situation in the country and to find out what the police state’s image was like. (egypt: the paid revolution) -, the ban on the use of the "movement of the 6. April" offered a good reason.

The ban allows the government – as in the case of the ban on the muslim brotherhood – to confiscate all property and assets of the opposition movement, which was already active under mubarak, and to arrest members as well as sympathizers without a major effort of justification.

Egypt’s leadership, a few weeks before the presidential election, is behaving in such a way as to mock any european or western acceptance of a basic democratic order. Or., to adequately translate the brutality with which the authoritarian police state course is being pursued: they slap them. Agyptian rulers currently hold democratic values as high as flogging, imprisonment, torture and death sentences for dissenters and bans on unpopular organizations.

This is accompanied by an image problem that irritates western tourists in particular. The economy is miserable, also due to the lack of this income. The minister of finance is threatening to cut state subsidies for fuel and other subsidized goods. An austerity program is on the agenda in egypt. The population is worried, as can be seen from the many strikes that have taken place "challenge the next president".

Financial aid to support the fight against extremism

Agypt needs financial aid. How to solve a riddle: what kind of campaign is as-sisi actually running??, was to be read in the last days in egyptian newspapers. He is hardly seen in public. The answer: as-sisi is meeting with key people in the background. For example with rosler, as a representative of the wef. Sisi desires cooperation that will support him economically – and in his "fight against islamist terror", to which he has been putting the squashing of political opposition from the ranks of the muslim brotherhood for the global arena.

The international community must pay attention to what is happening in the middle east to counter the spread of extremism, which has become a real threat to regional security and stability.

As-sisi speaking to rosner, quoted according to a report by mena news agency

The wef managing director’s response to the presidential candidate’s casting text for the cnn-bbc-al-arabia public is unfortunately only fragmentarily reproduced. Al-ahram quotes rosler as saying that egypt’s "political and economic stability the center of gravity of the middle east region" is.

Meaning, if a country is only rough enough and attractive as an economic partner and market, the main thing is to help the stabilizing forces, in this case the military, no matter how they operate exactly. That’s all they want to know. Until the "egyptian strabe" again surprised everyone?

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