The recent Egyptian-mediated rapprochement between the Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas, followed by the re-opening of the Rafah border of the Gaza Strip are historic moves. The former will unify and strengthen the Palestinian cause while the latter indicates the first major shift in Egyptian policy post-Mubarak.
Under Hosni Mubarak’s US-backed dictatorship, Egypt was a primary facilitator of Western policy in the Middle East — upholding Israel’s blockade of Gaza from 2009, and violently quashing Islamist uprisings during the 1990s.
Now however, the interim military junta is clearly seeking to distance itself from such pro-West policy and towards a more expansive, independent outlook.
Back in February, Egypt began its new era 12 days after Mubarak resigned by allowing two Iranian warships to pass through the Suez Canal, reportedly the first transit of its kind since 1979. When questioned about this by the Washington Post, foreign minister Nabil el-Araby was oblique, but eventually that despite previous tensions “Iran is not an enemy&… >>>