The board of ECFA agreed to hold a series of lectures in the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University for the students of the Foreign Ministry Simulation Model of Economics and Political Science, at the request of Dr. Hala El Saeed Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science.
A series of lectures were held on 18th May 2016, over three consecutive weeks.
Through these lectures Ambassadors Ezzat Saad, Mostafa Abdel Aziz, and Sayed AbouZeid talked to the students about ongoing regional issues in the world and particularly in the Middle East. The first lecture was about the Iran Nuclear Deal and its repercussions in the regions, the second lecture was about the Syrian Crisis, its developments, and the positions of the different parties, and the third lecture was about development of the political situation in the region. Each speaker touched on the various aspects of their topic in a comprehensive analytical presentation.
On the other hand, On the 18th of May, the council welcomed 30 student delegates from the MFA in the council’s headquarter. The students were welcomed by Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad who introduced Mrs. Anissa Essam El Din Hassouna as the deputy and acting chairman. The meeting proceeded in the following manner:
At the beginning, Mrs. Anissa Hassouna emphasized that the council is the only NGO in Egypt involved with Egyptian foreign affairs with the goal of opening the door to discussion and a platform to enrich the substantive debate about the issues concerning Egyptian foreign policy. This can be seen in the internal structure of the council, which includes 12 permanent committees that manage and discuss Egyptian foreign policy in a particular region and the bilateral relations within this framework. Additionally, the council includes working groups specialized in particular issues such as international law and others specialized in Egyptian bilateral relations with states such as Sudan and Ethiopia. The council does not only discuss political issues; however, it works on a regular basis to build partnerships that will promote activities in areas regarding economics, culture, and others.
Concerning some of the student’s inquiries about Egyptian foreign policy-making, Ambassador Ezzat Saad noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not the only institution concerned with making foreign policy, but rather it is done in collaboration with other institutions such as the Intelligence and National Security Agency and the Ministry of Defense. The foreign policy created must reflect the public interest, protect Egypt’s national security and build foreign relations based on mutual interests not dependency.