New US ambassador ‘incremental step’ in improving US-Egyptian relations: Expert
U.S. Ambassador R. Stephen Beecroft - REUTERS

CAIRO: The appointment of U.S. Ambassador R. Stephen Beecroft to Egypt is an “incremental step” in improving relations between Washington and Cairo, according to Nathan Brown, a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, as well as a senior associate at the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Foundation.

“I think there will be a very gradual improvement,” Brown told The Cairo Post, however he noted “ I think he may return to the path of quietly urging reform but I do not think the current Egyptian leadership is responsive to international opinion on major domestic issues.”

Brown added that there are ongoing concerns by some officials that Egypt is too focused on “pursuing short-term stability through political repression  and doing so in a manner that might not be stable in the long term.”

Although the U.S. as well as Europe are focused on human rights, he said, “I think US leaders will still attempt to build good working relations with the new regime in Egypt.”

Last week the High Elections Committee announced the timeline for the parliamentary elections, will will take place over March and April.

“The most accomplished and professional U.S. organizations will have nothing to do with the Egyptian elections,” he said, adding that many “organizations view the political atmosphere in Egypt as fundamentally undemocratic”  have been “shut down or harassed,” and those who remain worry that their presence might be used to legitimize any result of the polling.

Following the presidential elections in May of 2014, the head of the National Council for Women Mervat el-Tallawy ordered members of an European Union monitoring mission to leave a news conference she presided over, and told The Cairo Post after the incident that the mission’s report “interfered in internal affairs.” The mission had been among those invited to Egypt to participate in monitoring activity.

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