Member of parliament Emad Gad said on Sunday that it would be in the interest of Egypt and the Middle East if the winner of the upcoming US presidential elections was Donald Trump.
This follows President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s supporting stance, which he expressed during his trip to New York. Al-Sisi said in an interview following the meeting that Trump would undoubtedly make a strong leader.
Though Egypt constantly claims that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the top of its agenda, Egyptian political figures tend to disregard Trump’s friendship with Israel, in their own encouragement for Trump over his Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton.
In a radio interview on privately owned Nogoum FM, Gad said that Trump will cleanse the US department of state and the White House from Muslim Brotherhood members and will not support them. Gad added that the latest attacks that took place in the US will enhance Trump’s situation in the elections.
Gad referred to the opinion of the Arabic translator to US president Barack Obama, when the latter said that the upcoming elections are between the state’s institutions that are represented by Clinton, and an outsider who is represented by Trump. Gad said that US citizens are fed up with the state’s institutions and this may be in Trump’s favour. He also added that Trump is defensive in his speeches.
The MP went on to say that Clinton has a good chance of winning the elections, but highlighted that she had been a “liar, pretender, and caused several problems” while she was secretary of state.
Professor of political science at Cairo University, Hassan Nafaa, told Daily News Egypt that the two presidential candidates indicate that the US is witnessing “fragile elections”. He added that it’s rather early to say who is going to make a better president for the US because not everything promised during the elections turns into reality.
Nafaa said: “Trump has made several controversial statements and Clinton lacks the required charisma to be the president of the US.”
Gad further marginalised the anti-president protests in New York while Al-Sisi was participating in the United Nations (UN) general assembly, denying that they had happened. However, a number of pro-Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian expats took to the streets in Manhattan and protested against the president in front of the headquarters of the UN.
While Gad’s argument relied on Trump’s hostility towards the Muslim Brotherhood, and how it resonates with the stance of the Egyptian state, the MP turned a blind eye on Trump’s stance towards Israel. In a bilateral meeting that was held between Trump and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said that the US will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital under Trump administration.
Al-Sisi put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the top of his agenda but did not touch upon the issue during his meeting with Trump. Following the meeting, Trump described Al-Sisi as a “fantastic guy”, saying that they had good chemistry.
Egypt has made its stance towards the Israeli-Palestinian dispute clear─both Al-Sisi and Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry said that a political solution should be reached while maintaining the right of Palestinian citizens of their land, and refused the expansion of Israeli settlements. Though clear stances were demonstrated, the issue was not discussed with Trump.
During his meeting with Trump, the Egyptian president disregarded the former’s statements that were made late 2015 about banning foreign Muslims from entering the US. Trump backtracked from these comments and said that he appreciates “peace-loving Muslims”.
Regarding Trump’s statements on Muslims, Al-Sisi said that candidates have an initial vision until it gets modified by experience and advice from experts.
Conversely, Clinton is deemed by Egyptian media to be a loyal supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, as she called the current government “basically an army dictatorship” and considered the 30 June uprising a military coup that overthrew a democratically elected president.