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Cablegate: New Transport Minister Supports Greater Cooperation With

VZCZCXYZ0009
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0221 0521539
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 211539Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0344
INFO RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO
RULSJGA/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 000221

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/21
TAGS: ELTN EAIR EWWT ETTC EG
SUBJECT: New Transport Minister Supports Greater Cooperation with
U.S. Counterpart

REF: CAIRO 33

CLASSIFIED BY: Donald A. Blome, Minister-Counselor, State, Economic
and Political Affairs; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (SBU) Ambassador made a courtesy call February 1 on newly
appointed Egyptian Minster of Transport Alaa El Din Fahmy.
Appointed January 3, 2010, Transport Minister Fahmy is responsible
for all safety, operations, and infrastructure issues relating to
civil aviation, marine transport, ports, river and canal transport,
railroads, and roads and highways. Fahmy told Ambassador that
safety and human resource development are his priorities. Fahmy
succeeded ex-Minster Mohamed Mansour, who had resigned in October
as Transport Minister following a train accident which killed 18
and prompted wide public criticism of the long-term safety record
of Egypt's railroads.

2. (SBU) Ambassador raised U.S. support for the draft Memorandum of
Cooperation (MOC) between the Transport Ministry and U.S.
Department of Transportation, which would facilitate technical
assistance and information exchange or best practices. Ambassador
noted the draft MOC had been the subject of discussion during the
March 2009 call by former Transport Minister Mohamed Mansour on
Secretary of Transportation LaHood. She said the draft MOC
embodied an initiative on which she hoped MOT and USDOT would be
able to go forward at a mutually appropriate time. Minister Fahmy
agreed, and asked his staffer, Ms. Nevine El Deeb, to follow up
with Embassy Econoff on the details and status of the MOC.

3. (C ) Bio information: Alaa El Din Fahmy was the head of the
Egyptian National Postal Authority (ENPA) prior to his current
appointment. He also organized, and headed the National
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA). Fahmy is seen as a
member of Prime Minister Nazif's trusted circle; prior to their
entering government service in 2005, Fahmy was a private sector
(IT) associate of Nazif and of Telecommunications Minister Kamel.
Fahmy attended Military Technical College, a major feeder
institution for the armed services, where he told Ambassador he had
been a student during the 1973 war, and served for some time as an
Air Force officer. He told the Ambassador he still feels a strong
loyalty to the Air Force. Some post contacts have suggested Fahmy
lacks vision and decisiveness. Though he speaks somewhat haltingly
and may not understand idiomatic English, Fahmy has a generally
good command of the language.
SCOBEY

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