By Ibrahim al-Masri
Ahmed Fahmy, President of Egypt’s Shura Council, stated that Egypt was keen on preserving its relationship with the United States, one built on respect, mutual interests, and a commitment to not intervene in the domestic affairs of other countries. He stated that the Shura Council sought to support and strengthen the special relationship enjoyed between the two countries in various fields.
This came during a recent meeting held and attended by a delegation from the American embassy and USAID. During the meeting, Fahmy welcomed attempts to promote the decentralisation of local government administration within Egypt, saying first that all opinions need to be considered and studied in order to determine the best possible means of doing so.
He confirmed that the Council sought to benefit from the experience of other nations, and welcomed attempts by the United States to provide Egypt with as much aid as possible, saying that boundaries and clear goals need to be set with regards to how such aid was managed and distributed. He added that future relations between the two countries need to be founded on transparency, which would better serve the mutual interests of Egypt and the United States.
Fahmy stated that “we seek to achieve local development by applying decentralisation to local government as stipulated in article 183 of the constitution, which calls for allowing Egypt’s governorates to begin distributing utilities and local services to residents, in an attempt to help improve local administration”.
Alexander Klatz, Director of the Office for Democratic Affairs within USAID, stated that he hoped the two countries would work together to achieve higher levels of cooperation and legislative exchange in a way that would help both nations. He added that USAID sought to provide Egypt with aid for the purpose of supporting the spread of decentralisation within local administration.
Klatz further stated that the United States was keen to promote a democratic transition in Egypt and maintain its close relationship with the Arab republic, expressing his hope that Egypt can soon move out of its transitional phase and occupy its proper place on the world stage.
Fahmy stated that every country has the right to determine the best system to fit their needs, be it through a centralised or de-centralised model for local administration, and that such a system should not be dictated by any outside powers. He stated that Egypt could benefit from the experiences of foreign countries in a way that helped meet the needs of its people and promote progress and growth.
He said that for years Egypt had worked under a centralised system, and that what was needed now was to experiment with decentralisation, taking into account the various needs of each of the country’s provinces.
The meeting was attended by Shura Council Majority leader Essam Elerian, Reda Fahmy, President of the Arab, Foreign and National Security Committee, and Salih Abdel Ma’abud, representative from the Salafi Al-Nour Party.
Translated from AlBorsa