Wat Amerika wil in Egypte

PRINCETON – Zowel de Moslimbroederschap als de liberale oppositie van Egypte oefenen ronduit kritiek uit op de Verenigde Staten. Dat is hard voor ambassadeur Anne Patterson, minister van Buitenlandse Zaken John Kerry en onderminister van Buitenlandse Zaken William Burns, die zojuist Cairo heeft bezocht. Maar het duidt er ook op dat de VS proberen het juiste beleid te voeren.

De VS doen hun best om niet één specifieke partij te steunen, maar eerder een concept van de liberale democratie dat vrije en eerlijke verkiezingen inhoudt, en een regeringsvorm die minderheidsstandpunten respecteert en individuele rechten overeind houdt. Om deze koers te kunnen volgen, moet de regering echter weerstand bieden aan Israel en Saoedi-Arabië.

De jongeren die tweeëneenhalf jaar geleden leiding gaven aan de Egyptische revolutie wantrouwden de VS, om de eenvoudige reden dat dit land het regime van president Hosni Moebarak dertig jaar heeft gesteund. Vanuit Amerikaans perspectief heeft president Barack Obama snel de draai gemaakt van Moebarak naar het volk; maar zo zag het er niet uit op straat in Cairo. Toen Mohammed Morsi van de Moslimbroederschap in 2012 tot president werd gekozen, dachten veel Egyptenaren dat Amerika hem moest hebben gesteund, omdat zij zich niet konden voorstellen dat de VS een resultaat zouden accepteren dat ze niet wilden.

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