Heikal, Mohamed Hassanein
July 1978
Foreign Affairs;Jul1978, Vol. 56 Issue 4, p714
The article discusses issues concerning the foreign policy of Egypt. After 1973, Egypt's foreign policy appears to have been formulated on the basis of assumptions that the Egyptian decision-maker drew from his reading of certain variables he saw on the internal, regional and global fronts. On the internal front, the adverse psychological effects produced by the Six-Day War had continued for six years and the mood of the people was not improved by staggering economic difficulties, breakdowns in infrastructure and services, inflation caused by the war economy and further aggravated by worldwide inflation following the rise in oil prices and in the price of a number of basic food commodities that Egypt had to import. The desire to alleviate the hardships of the people was translated into an economic open-door policy, on the assumption that Egypt's economy could be cured by a dose of foreign capital and local private enterprise. However, the catch was that both local and foreign capital gravitated to those areas in which quick profits could be realized, such as land speculation, trade in nonessential consumer goods, and finally tourism, rather than into areas of development and production. This process has bred parasitical groups that have amassed great personal fortunes without adding to the national wealth or the productive capacity of the country in any way. Moreover, they now represent pressure groups whose allegiance is dubious, first because they are not committed in any way to the production process--whether industrial or agricultural and, second, because they prefer to retain their wealth outside the country.


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