John Casson has been appointed UK ambassador to Egypt, replacing James Watt who is retiring from the diplomatic service.
Ahram Online understands the appointment of Casson – who has been UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s private secretary for foreign affairs since 2010 – as revealing the importance of relations with Egypt for the UK.
Casson will officially receive his post in August.
There is “a sense of strong optimism within the UK government that the appointment of Casson will provide a big push in boosting relations with Egypt,” well-informed sources told Ahram Online.
Casson says his country has a deep interest in Egypt’s political, security and economic success.
“Egypt’s current period of challenge and change will shape the long-term future for Egyptians, and will be pivotal for the region,” he said in a statement issued after the announcement of his appointment.
Casson, who speaks Arabic, is said to possess a profound understanding of the region. He served as deputy ambassador in Jordan and head of the Foreign Ministry’s Near East and North Africa Department.
Before entering into government, Casson worked as a research assistant at Cambridge University and in the House of Commons.