Rotary Club hears ‘The State of Egypt Today’ talk by Abderahman
Gilroy – Abderahman Salaheldin, Consul General of Egypt in San Francisco provided an interesting look at Egypt and it’s relationship with the United States as well as it’s neighboring countries at Tuesday’s Rotary meeting.
During his “The State of Egypt Today” talk, Salaheldin stressed the importance of travel and how the media may have played an integral part in discouraging it within the region. “Some seven million tourists visit Egypt each year, of those, only 200,000 are from America. Mostly, they come from Europe and Japan.”
He credits this to the fact that “bad news makes headlines, good news rarely makes the front page. You don’t hear of the majority of people who stand very firmly against the terrorists.”
Salaheldin sees the relationship between the U.S. and Egypt as one of “peaceful co-existence.” He notes that the U.S. and Egypt “see eye-to-eye on many important issues such as security for this part of the world. Although we do have our differences, we agree on how to manage them and to have a dialogue between our two countries.” He believes strongly that dialogue between civilizations, focusing on “the good news of our relationship, tolerance, educational opportunities” is extremely important and visiting each others countries can go far in promoting such dialogue.
As for peace in Iraq, he advised that ending the occupation would help to tell the rest of the population that negotiation is the best road to peace. In addition to ending what he categorized as the “occupation” he suggested replacing the presence of the U.S. with the presence of an international force such as the United Nations. He also advised that every effort be made to maintain the unity of Iraq and not split it into factions.
Salaheldin has been a career diplomat for more than 25 years. Since September 2004, he has served as the Consul General of Egypt in San Francisco, covering the states of Arizona, Alaska, California, Idaho, Washington, Utah, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii, and Wyoming.