In the past year, the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, or ISIS, and the nuclear negotiations with Iran have dominated U.S. policy toward the Middle East. But Egypt, as the most populous Arab country, remains a central test in the broader battle to achieve stability and progress in the region. Four years after the start of the Arab uprisings, Egypt continues to face many of the same challenges that sparked the initial protests.
The United States and Egypt should try to work together to build a set of new anchors for progress and stability at this turbulent time of transition in the Middle East. 2015 offers potential opportunities, but it will require Egypt and the United States to learn some lessons from the past four years and to look to the future. The two countries need to move beyond the old way of doing business—a heavy focus on conventional military cooperation—and look to a future where the bilateral relationship includes expanded economic cooperation and a new, more constructive diplomatic and political dialogue.
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