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Egypt outgoing FM calls for a national security council

A memorandum submitted by Foreign Minister Nabil El Araby on the eve of his departure to take over as Arab League chief, urges the government to set up a national security council

Ahram Online , Thursday 23 Jun 2011
Nabil El Arabi
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Al-Ahram daily newspaper published today the text of a top secret memorandum sent to the Council of Ministers by Nabil El Araby, Egypt's foreign minister and the next general secretary of the Arab league. El Araby suggested in his note that Egypt should establish a national security council in which the ministry of interior is to be represented.  

"In light of the complexity and interrelatedness of issues relating to Egyptian foreign policy, which is dealt with by different bodies in the state, and also due to  the importance of taking decisions based on accurate studies conducted by these various bodies, I recommend the establishment of a national security council that would report directly to the president," stated El Araby in his memo.

El Araby suggests that the ministry of foreign affairs act as the general secretariat of the new council in which the ministries of interior and defense are to be permanently represented along with the specialized security authorities. Other ministries are to be represented according to the subject under discussion.

"It should be noted that Egypt had established an office of the president's advisor for national security in the 1970s," read the memo, "and the role of the office was central in coordinating the country's foreign policy in the critical period during the October war (in 1973)." This office, according to the memo, played a major role in coordinating between authorities tasked with national security and foreign policy.

El Araby hopes that his proposal will be forwarded to the Egyptian cabinet for further discussion, leading to the formulation of a structural framework for the proposed council with the Supreme Council for Armed forces, such that the new council would be operational when Egypt's next president is elected.

It is not yet known whether the idea presented by the soon-to-be Secretary General of the Arab League will be developed by the council of ministers headed by Egypt's prime minister Esam Sharaf

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