CAIRO/BERLIN | | aegypten

CAIRO/BERLIN (Own report) - Last year, the German government authorized a record number of arms exports to Egypt. As the government confirmed, permits, valued at around €428 million, were issued in 2017. Among the goods Cairo received are TyssenKrupp Marine Systems' submarines. The deliveries are being carried out in spite of serious accusations of grave human rights violations raised against the Egyptian military government. The case of an Italian post-grad student, who was possibly murdered in early 2016 by Egyptian police or secret service agents, has yet to be solved. In addition the Saudi-led coalition's war on Yemen is supported by the Egyptian navy. Germany is also providing arms to the coalition. According to reports, arms deliveries have recently been expanded to the United Arab Emirates. At the same time, even NATO countries are beginning to suspend their deliveries to the coalition, because of the humanitarian catastrophe caused in Yemen. more…

CAIRO/BERLIN | | aegypten

CAIRO/BERLIN (Own report) - Mass protests with numerous casualties are casting a shadow over Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi's visit to Berlin, which begins tomorrow. Already last week, while preparations for the upcoming talks were being made in the German capital, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Egypt, against Mursi's Islamist government. The Egyptian president's Berlin visit seeks particularly to promote German business in this North African country. Egypt's economy is, at the moment, in ruins, but, according to assessments by German business circles, holds long term lucrative opportunities. Cooperation with Mursi - and, behind him, the Muslim Brotherhood - was initiated by the German government in the early aftermath of the revolts at the beginning of 2011. This cooperation draws on concepts developed by German think tanks along with US organizations in the aftermath of the Muslim Brotherhood's 2005 electoral success. Experts are explicitly warning against a "positive assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood." "Authoritarian tendencies" within their ranks "are evident." more…

BERLIN/CAIRO/TUNIS | | aegyptentunesien

BERLIN/CAIRO/TUNIS (Own report) - By sending so-called transformation teams to Egypt and Tunisia, Berlin is seeking to enhance its economic influence in North Africa. German Minister of the Economy Philipp Roesler recently announced that retired German functionaries would assist in "establishing economic administrations" in these two countries in the midst of transformation. In light of the continuing social protests and strikes, German companies in North Africa are worried that the region could become insecure for their low-wage investments. The German government's most recent initiative should dispel these apprehensions. The initiative dovetails perfectly with Berlin's foreign policy initiatives aimed at reinforcing German standing in North Africa, which were launched just after the beginning of the "Arab Spring" in 2011. more…

Red Lines

CAIRO/BERLIN | | aegypten

CAIRO/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin's government advisors are debating measures for weakening Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. The Peace and Justice Party, considered the political party of the Brotherhood, won a clear victory in the first round of parliamentary elections. Islamist parties could hope to win a two-thirds majority. Experts expect this could lead to a less western-oriented Egyptian foreign policy. "The rise of the Brotherhood means that the next Egyptian government will show less inclination toward being cooperative with Europe." The EU must "insure that the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood remains merely a temporary phenomenon and that (...) damage to European interests not be tolerated," demands one expert in the journal "Internationale Politik," the most significant media organ of Berlin's foreign policy establishment. The current tensions between the Muslim Brotherhood and the West obscure the fact that both sides had cooperated - during the cold war against the socialist countries. more…

CAIRO/STUTTGART/ULM | | aegypten

CAIRO/STUTTGART/ULM (Own report) - Strong protests are being raised against the prohibition of the founding of an independent student union at the German University in Cairo. According to students at the university, for years, they have been seeking to establish a student union to intervene for better study conditions. The German University in Cairo is the first and, until now, largest German partner university abroad, with particular significance for Germany's foreign policy. The administration of this university has prohibited the creation of a student union to prevent a realm of activity for opponents of the Mubarak regime. This month, the administration even called in the military to put down student campus protests. At this university, seen as a German alternative to the long-standing American University in Cairo, the German government and German scholars have an enormous influence. According to the Stuttgart University, one of the two patron universities, it has "a model character" for German "scholarship export". Years ago, it awarded "honorary citizenship" to the wife of the former Egyptian president, for her contribution toward founding the German University in Cairo. Conditions at the German University show how the forces of the old regime are still seeking to hold their ground - with German acquiescence. more…

BERLIN/DUBAI/RIYADH | | iranvaeaegypten

BERLIN/DUBAI/RIYADH (Own report) - In spite of the ongoing protests in the Arab countries, German companies are continuing to furnish repressive technology to regimes of the region. At a fair in Dubai, oriented toward Middle Eastern and African police forces and secret services, several German companies have displayed their newest technology in internet surveillance. Products for localizing mobile telephones, as well as spying on computer hard disks were also being presented. German enterprises consider the export of so-called security technology to be a rather lucrative business. The German ministry of economics estimates the global security market to run at around 100 billion Euros per year - and rising. Since November 2010, the ministry has been supporting the German repression industry with a new "exports initiative in security technologies". Just last January, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Economics, Hans-Joachim Otto, visited the United Arab Emirates for talks on security plans. Some of the German export projects to Arab countries, including a proposal to deliver espionage software to the Egyptian domestic espionage service, have caused controversy. more…

CAIRO/ANKARA/BERLIN | | aegypten

CAIRO/ANKARA/BERLIN (Own report) - Government advisors in Berlin are proposing a re-organization of Egyptian state structures to correspond to the Turkish model, because of their fear that anti-western Islamic forces could get the upper hand in Cairo and jeopardize US - European control over Arab regional resources. If this is to be prevented, according to the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Turkey can serve as a model. The West has seen Turkey as a model for the Arab world, particularly for Egypt, because it has forged a political Islam that is willing to cooperate with the EU. Earlier, objectionable political tendencies could be kept from coming to power with the help of the Turkish military. This could only be successful, if the EU would cooperate as closely with Egypt as with Turkey, according to the SWP. For weeks, Berlin has been insisting on establishing an EU "transformation partnership" with Cairo, which would bind Egypt even tighter to the European hegemonic metropolis. more…

CAIRO/BERLIN | | aegypten

CAIRO/BERLIN (Own report) - Serious accusations about the use of torture are being raised against the Egyptian military, which for decades had been supported by the Federal Republic of Germany. Over the past few days, according to reports by various human rights organizations, soldiers have abducted hundreds - possibly even thousands - of demonstrators and tortured many of them. Serious accusations had already been raised earlier against the Mukhabarat secret service, a partner agency to the West German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), which had been presided over by the Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, considered currently the most powerful individual in Cairo. Suleiman now threatens a putsch. Strong West German support for the Egyptian military and the Mukhabarat was not limited to the 1950s. Following an interruption due to a reorientation in US foreign policy strategy, West Germany has been re-engaged in Egypt's arms buildup and training since the late 1970s. This has to be seen in the context of geostrategic considerations for controlling the resources of the Middle East region, which is why this support will be continued in spite of the current accusations of torture. more…

CAIRO/BERLIN | | aegypten

CAIRO/BERLIN (Own report) - Government advisors in Berlin are considering a transition government for Egypt under the leadership of a general. The military has the decisive power in that country, is "the referee" in the current conflicts between the Mubarak regime and the opposition and could provide, at least temporarily, the president, according to a Middle East expert of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). A "popular" politician could also be conceivable as prime minister. The SWP expert's proposition takes into account the fact that the West - besides the USA, particularly Germany - has, for decades, been supporting the Egyptian military and has considerably contributed to the stabilization of its enormous political and economic power. The Federal Republic of Germany had, already shortly after the end of the Second World War, begun with training and arming the Egyptian armed forces - using former soldiers of the Wehrmacht and the SS. They had been engaged in Cairo in accord with the USA, until a transatlantic change of course brought an end to these activities. more…

MUNICH/CAIRO/WASHINGTON | | aegypten

MUNICH/CAIRO/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Transatlantic consultations taking place at the Munich military conference are aimed at helping to prevent an uncontrolled collapse of the Mubarak regime. As was emphasized by the German chancellor and the US foreign minister in Munich, immediate elections would "plunge the country into chaos." A "power vacuum" must be avoided; President Mubarak must be kept in office for the time being. These declarations are in complete contradiction to the principal demands of the Egyptian opposition, who fear the despotism of Mubarak's followers and raise, as a prerequisite for any democratic transformation, the suppression of the clique kept in power by the West. The US "special envoy" to Egypt, Frank George Wisner Jr., was beamed to the Munich conference via satellite transmission. The name Wisner is linked to numerous violent operations throughout the world - Wisner Sr., directing a working relationship with former German Nazi agents on behalf of the US government. The objective was to insure western economic interests through comprehensive electoral manipulations and bringing governments subservient to NATO into power - if necessary through military means. The declarations in Munich and Wisner's role permit the anticipation of one of the biggest secret service maneuvers since 1948, to maintain western control over Egypt and the Arab world. more…