The founding fathers of the US built the country on the bases of freedom and justice. The majority of US presidents respected these values and promoted them internationally. This is what made the US a leading country respected the world over.
We, in the Middle East, fondly remember the noble actions of president Dwight Eisenhower during the tripartite aggression of England, France and Israel in 1956 when they invaded Egypt and sent their troops to occupy Sinai, a very dear part of Egypt.
Eisenhower intervened, giving the three countries an ultimatum to withdraw their troops from Egypt. They left. This is what the world expects from the US to support justice and condemn aggressions and occupation of other countries.
The Middle East believes the US should restore its status. I am referring here to two international issues that threaten world peace and security.
The first is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile.
The dam will deprive River Nile downstream countries Egypt and Sudan, that are friends of the US, of their share of Nile waters and endanger the lives of millions of people who shall suffer from thirst and hunger. The Nile is about the only source of water for Egyptians. Ethiopia is water-rich, often referred to as the Fountain of Africa.
A young diplomat, Marwa Salem, conducted a study about water in Africa. Salem said 14 water basins flow through Ethiopia, including the Nile Basin. Its total water surface is about 122 BCM, nearly 90 BCM of which – coming from national rivers – are under Ethiopia's control. Moreover, there are about 20 BCM of groundwater near the surface, which are renewable due to the heavy rainfall, which averages 1250 mm per year. Consequently, Ethiopia belongs in the category of “water abundance.”
In the 1960s, the US agricultural Department conducted an extensive study on water in Ethiopia. The four-year research identified 33 locations in Ethiopia for building a dam. Nevertheless, the Ethiopian government chose the most controversial of them to build dam. The US, realising the critical GERD crisis, has sponsored tripartite negotiations to reach a deal that safeguards the rights of the three countries.
When an agreement was already reached in Washington, Ethiopia didn’t show up to sign it, showing disrespect to the negotiating parties including the US that brokered the talks.
Ethiopia should have honoured its word, if not for the $8 billion the US grants Ethiopia each year, then at least for the sake of respecting the diplomatic codes and proper behaviour.
We are all well aware that Ethiopia’s aggressive attitude is a flagrant violation of all international agreements and the Helsinki principles that safeguard the rights of all countries sharing international rivers and ensures their good relations.
The US Treasury has recently withheld $200 million from its aid to Ethiopia, sending a message to Addis Ababa it will not get away with this extreme violation of international laws.
The whole world expects the US to continue its efforts to support the rights of millions of Egyptians and Sudanese people who cannot survive without water.
The second issue is Turkish President Recep Tayyip’s Erdogan’s invasion of Libya and his establishment of military bases west of the Egyptian borders.
It is well known that he is a strong supporter of terrorist organisations, providing them with funds, arms and mercenaries. He even recruits Turkish Kurds to fight in Libya under the pretext of reviving the Ottoman empire. He flagrantly announced that he intends to occupy Austria, Rome and even the Vatican itself as well.
The dictator had the audacity to turn the Aya Sofia church and museum into a mosque where the preacher gave his sermon holding a sword, claiming that this is the way to spread Islam and restore the Ottoman glory -- although the teachings of Islam call for peace and coexistence of all peoples of all religions.
Erdogan also attacked some oil wells in the Mediterranean that belong to Greece and Cypress. His actions constitute a threat to peace and security, not only in the Middle East but in Europe and the world at large.
Dear US friends of Egypt, the US is now preparing for a major political event, namely the Congress and presidential elections. Get in touch with your candidates, the senators, the governors, and the mayors. Demand they listen to your requests.
Ask your family, friends and colleagues to create a strong public opinion. Tell them the US should restore its status as a major power that supports world peace, security, and human rights. Encourage them to support justice.