Blinken marks 100 years of Egypt-US diplomacy with gift to Shoukry; congressmen hail partnership

Amr Kandil , Thursday 28 Apr 2022

On the centennial of diplomatic ties between Cairo and Washington on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gifted Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry with two letters marking the start of relations between the two countries in the 1920s.

Egypt, US flags
Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Embassy in Washington D.C. on the occasion of the centennial of diplomatic relations between Cairo and Washington


The centennial was also marked by US Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart and Dutch Ruppersberger, who issued a joint statement hailing that strategic partnership between the two countries.

In a Tweet on Wednesday, Blinken posted two letters sent in 1922 establishing the start of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The first telegram is a letter from former US President Warren G. Harding to King of Egypt Ahmed Fouad I recognising Egypt’s independence and sovereignty and establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries, dated 26 April 1922.

The second is a letter from then-US Secretary of State Charles Hughes to Egyptian Prime Minister Abdel-Khalek Tharwat Pasha congratulating him on Egypt’s independence, also dated 26 April 1922.


Blinken gifted the two letters to Shoukry during his visit to Washington in mid-April to commemorate the centennial of diplomatic ties, according to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“There is a lot of history, but, I hope, a lot of good history we can actually make together in the months and years ahead,” Blinken told the media before the meeting with Shoukry in Washington DC.

Trade volume between Egypt and the US amounted to $9.1 billion in 2021, making the US Egypt's second-largest trading partner after China, according to the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.

This represents a leap in trade volume from $6.9 billion in 2020, according to AmCham.

Egypt also accounted for 5 percent of the Middle East and North Africa exports to the US last year and 9 percent of the region’s imports from the US.

Congressional Friends of Egypt Caucus

US Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart and Dutch Ruppersberger also marked 100 years of diplomatic ties with Egypt, saying the two countries have together faced global challenges, including the global threat of terrorism.

The two congressmen, who are also co-chairs of the Congressional Friends of Egypt Caucus, hailed the partnership between Egypt and the US in a joint statement on Wednesday, saying it is built on a shared commitment to peace, stability, and economic growth for both countries.

"It is our shared hope that Egypt will continue to lead on the world stage and that Egypt and the United States will enjoy another century of partnership and progress to the mutual benefit of the Egyptian and American people,” the congressmen said.

Cairo and Washington have also worked toward a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict amid other global challenges, Diaz-Balart and Ruppersberger said.

Egypt and the US have cooperated to achieve a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict over the past decades and have repeatedly called for reviving peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

In May last year, Egypt, which has longstanding relations with both the Palestinian and Israeli sides, brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza after 11 days of Israeli assault.

Egypt and the US administration also share similar visions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including the need for a two-state solution and for stopping the building of new illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Egypt, the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, participated in a meeting in Israel's Negev last month that included the US and Abraham Accord signatories Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

During the meeting, Shoukry said Egypt has been striving for years to encourage both the Palestinian and Israeli sides to reach the necessary accommodation and compromise that can facilitate an end to the conflict.

"Decades after the Camp David Accords, we continue to honour that historic agreement with robust contributions to the peace and security of the entire region," the two congressmen said.

The Camp David Accords are US-brokered agreements signed between Egypt and Israel on 17 September 1978 that led to the peace treaty between the two countries in the following year. This became the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab state.

Short link: