The Middle East Institute sponsored a bipartisan delegation of former high-level U.S. government officials to Cairo in early February.  The delegation included Stephen Hadley, former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush; General Anthony Zinni, former Commander of U.S. Central Command; and Daniel Kurtzer, former Ambassador to Egypt and Israel.  They were accompanied by Middle East Institute President Wendy Chamberlin and Vice President Dr. Paul Salem.

The delegation sought to meet with, and gain an understanding of the views of a broad cross section of Egyptian officials, religious and political leaders, civil society figures, and pro-democracy and human rights activists.  Its goal was to find ways to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Egypt by focusing on areas of common interest, and finding constructive ways to address areas of difference or disagreement.

The delegation met with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Defence Minister Sedky Sobhi, National Security Advisor Fayza Abou al-Naga, and Security and Counterterrorism Advisor Ahmad Gamal al-Din. 

The delegation also met with a number of former officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaeldin, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, Central Bank Governor Farouk Okda, and past presidential candidate Amr Moussa.

The group met with human rights activist Nadine Sherif Abdel Wahab, political scientists Noha Mikawy and Hisham Hellyer, and members of the National Council for Human Rights. Members of the delegation also met separately with former MP Amr Hamzawy, former diplomat and novelist Ezzedine Fishere, Professor Rabab al-Mahdi of AUC, and others.

Religious leaders on the delegation’s agenda included the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb and His Holiness Pope Tawadros II.