By: Ashley Sheehy, WAC-DC Emerging Global Leaders Intern
On February 11, 2016, the Embassy of the Republic of Egypt in Washington, hosted the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC’s members, Board of Directors, and distinguished guests for an Embassy Series event. The program began with opening remarks by WAC-DC President and CEO, Tony Culley-Foster, who provided an overview of current bilateral affairs, highlighting notable joint ventures between the United States and Egypt.
His Excellency Yasser Reda, Ambassador of Egypt to the U.S. welcomed guests and began his remarks by stating that he believes strongly in grassroots diplomacy and its ability to make a difference in the world. Because of this sentiment, he appreciates the work of the Council and its ability to reach people directly. His Excellency gave a brief overview for the guests of the last five years of bilateral relations between Egypt and the U.S., stating that both countries can continue to grow as security and economic partners in the international community. The Ambassador said he looks forward to helping facilitate a more active ‘open-door’ policy between Egypt and the U.S. Ambassador Reda explained that it is Egypt’s goal to play a positive role in the international community by being a center for mutual understanding and peace in the Middle East. One of the biggest priorities that both Egypt and the United States share, emphasized Ambassador Reda, is preventing terrorism through stability and security in the region.
During the question and answer session of the program, many of the attendees asked the Ambassador about the negative effects of weak global markets and low oil prices on the Egyptian economy. The Embassy’s Chief Economic Officer explained that in contrast to what is reported investors are seeing a great return from their investments in the Egyptian markets. At the conclusion of the program, guests mingled with embassy officials while sampling traditional Egyptian food and drinks including falafel and baklava.