As a candidate, Mr. Biden had stated there can be “no more blank checks for Trump’s ‘favorite dictator’” — which means Mr. el-Sisi, whose growing authoritarianism has drawn widespread criticism. Though the Egyptian president was the primary Arab chief to congratulate Mr. Biden after the election, Mr. Biden waited till final week to return the decision.
But after that chilly begin to their relationship, Egypt has sought to capitalize on the Gaza disaster to shore up its ties with the brand new administration. Mr. Blinken will meet Mr. el-Sisi in Cairo, offering the Egyptian chief a chance not solely to reaffirm his nation’s the connection with the United States but in addition to promote Egypt’s standing as a regional energy dealer and chief amongst Arab nations.
Though that standing has been fading for years as Egypt fell into home turmoil and wealthier Arab states asserted themselves within the area, Cairo loved principally clean relations with Washington lately till the arrival of the Biden administration, which has put human rights on the heart of its overseas coverage technique.
The administration, nevertheless, has not essentially modified the phrases of the connection with Cairo, which facilities on the $1.3 billion in navy support Egypt receives every year from the United States, a historic byproduct of its settlement to make peace with Israel in 1979. The State Department authorised a $197 million arms sale to Egypt in February, across the identical time that Egypt arrested the cousins of an Egyptian-American dissident, Mohamed Soltan, in what Mr. Soltan stated was a bid to strain him to cease criticizing it.
The battle additionally might serve to proceed repairing the connection between the United States and Jordan that had been largely shelved throughout the Trump administration. At least two million Palestinian refugees reside in Jordan, and its Hashemite monarchy is the custodian of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, one of many holiest websites in Islam.
Mr. Blinken’s go to comes at a fraught time in Israeli politics, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heading a caretaker authorities that may very well be in its final days, after 4 inconclusive elections in two years, and with no clear image of what lies forward.
Experts within the area stated Mr. Blinken would have to maneuver fastidiously between expressing his administration’s unwavering help for Israel and its safety whereas not handing over any presents that may very well be perceived as intervening in Mr. Netanyahu’s home predicament.