Thursday, 16 December 2010
Conspiracy theorist believe the next Egyptian president will be Washington's man
It is widely believed by conspiracy theorists in the Middle East, and there are many, that the next president of Egypt must enjoy the blessing of the US. This is not a view that emerges out of the latest batch of cables from the US embassy in Cairo released by WikiLeaks.
What the cables reveal is the assessment of successive US ambassadors to Egypt that President Mubarak is someone who will not be pushed around on matters of human rights, democratisation or other aspects of how Egypt runs its affairs. And furthermore, that the successive ambassadors do not pretend to know who might be the next president after Mubarak. A number of names are put forward as possibilities: the president's younger son Gamal; the intelligence chief Omar Suleiman; the “charismatic” head of the Arab League, Amr Mousa [this was back in 2007]; or some unknown military man.
It has been said that President Mubarak will not step down but is more likely to die in office.
In addition, the previous US ambassador Frank Ricciardone suggests that the next president, whoever it might be, could have an "initial anti-American tone in his public rhetoric" to win over the Egyptian street."
The conspiracy theorists might be unwilling or unable to take the cables at face value. They will persist in their conviction that the next president of Egypt will be Washington's man. That is certainly not the view of Washington.
For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.
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