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There’s no such thing as a ‘normal nation’ anymore

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Commentary. The death of Mohammed Morsi shows the cynicism of international politics: how a democratically elected president grabbed more power, alienated his base, and ended up imprisoned without medical care. The fact that Italy plays nice with the el-Sisi regime shows the emptiness of the word ‘normal.’

written by Alberto Negri, Tommaso Di Francesco

Topic Middle East and North Africa


June 20, 2019

We are not living among “normal” countries at the moment, and we are not living in “normal” times. According to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iran is not a “normal nation.” It is rather a target for a campaign of economic assassination, or a literal target in a war that would send even more soldiers into the Middle East.

Egypt is also not a normal nation under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, where the former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi died in prison after being neglected and denied medical care. Nor is Italy a normal nation: if it were not for Giulio Regeni, who was tortured and killed by Egyptian security forces in Cairo in 2016, we would be very good friends with General el-Sisi. In fact, we’ve been on good terms with him for a long time, in spite of the thousands of opposition sympathizers thrown in prison and the forced disappearances which continue to happen. It’s a relationship worth $6 billion a year in trade, including the enormous ENI-managed Zhor offshore gas field and arms sales that are continuing apace.

Other countries are even better friends to the Egyptian regime, as they can display their friendship at the official level, while we are........

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