The nomination of Ahmed Mekki, former vice president, to head Egypt’s diplomatic mission in the Vatican this week might be a precedent by which the president would use his legal prerogative to appoint selected non-career diplomats to head some of Egypt’s key diplomatic missions overseas.
The diplomatic corps law grants the president a maximum of 10 head of mission postings to be appointed from outside the diplomatic corps each time nominations requests for heads of missions are issued by the state.
According to sources at the presidency, the foreign ministry, and the Muslim Brotherhood, topping the list of aspiring ambassadors is leading figure of the Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, Essam El-Erian.
El-Erian is eyeing the head of Egypt’s mission in Ankara, a key capital for Egypt under Brotherhood rule. The tenure of current Ambassador to Turkey Abdel-Rahman Salah should come to an end this summer.
Other posts that the Brotherhood appear to be eyeing are also countries with “special rapport” with the Muslim Brotherhood. These include Qatar, to which Egypt sent an ambassador a year ago.
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s ambassador to Doha (he shares the same name as the Egyptian president) sent a written complaint to the foreign ministry in Cairo complaining that he is “mostly uninformed about the ongoings » of bilateral relations between Egypt and Qatar.
The complaint was written following a recent visit to Cairo by Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Ben Jassim of which the Egyptian ambassador knew nothing.
Interesting report. Some will no doubt cry Brotherhoodization but it’s normal in many countries for a president to appoint political allies as ambassadors. Except in those cases they tend to have quiet postings to charming seaside countries like the Bahamas. Not appointments to key allies where you need an experienced hand.
P.S. In the case of Essam al-Erian, it might simply be an attempt to get rid of him inside of Egypt.