FOREIGN POLICY UNDER PRESIDENT AL-SISI
Russell, James A.
Ostovar, Afshon P.
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President al-Sisi’s regional foreign policy decisions have taken a different approach compared to past Egyptian presidencies. Understanding where Egypt is headed and the backbone of al-Sisi’s foreign policies is important not only for U.S. interests in the Middle East and North Africa, but for regional security and stability. This thesis attempts to explain how and why al-Sisi makes his foreign policy decisions by examining his policies on three ongoing conflicts: the Gaza Strip, the Syrian crisis, and the Yemeni civil war. Additionally, this thesis examines and compares previous Egyptian presidents’ foreign policies with al-Sisi. Within these case studies, three hypotheses are tested: that al-Sisi’s foreign policy concentrates on protecting the regime and supporting its interests, that al-Sisi’s foreign policy concentrates on protecting national interests and improving quality of life for Egyptians, or a combination of the two. While regime and national interests differ in each case study, al-Sisi has demonstrated that he takes into account both factors in his foreign policy decision-making. The lessons learned from these case studies can assist U.S. leadership and policymakers in predicting how President al-Sisi is likely to approach new challenges in the Middle East.
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