S.C. agriculture commissioner Hugh Weathers personally funded a South Carolina based economic development trip to Egypt with the objective of securing new overseas markets for South Carolina soybeans.
Myrtle Beach S.C. Representative Alan Clemmons organized the nine-day trip attended by many S.C. delegates.
Do such economic endeavors with questionable foreign governments generally pan out? According to Foreignaffairs.com: When suddenly empowered by hegemonic support, dictators often insulate themselves from the demands of their own societies, investing not in coalition-building but instead in violent repression. When serious crises eventually struck, the dictators found themselves lacking domestic allies and popular constituencies that could neutralize rising tides of opposition.
There are few markets or governments less stable than the Arab middle east.
Despite that reality, S.C. Governor Henry McMaster reached out to Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, calling him “His Excellency” in a written letter stating, “On behalf of the citizens of South Carolina I would like to convey my sincere appreciation for the generous hospitality that you and your administration extended this week to South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers and to our leaders from the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives,” McMaster then wrote. “I am pleased to learn of the many opportunities that were discussed, most notably increased trade with the State of South Carolina, collaboration with our state’s research universities, and manufacturing workforce training initiatives.”
General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s rise to Egyptian presidency
Mass demonstrations occurred on 30 June 2013 as tens of millions of Egyptians took to the streets to denounce Mohamed Morsi. Clashes took place around Egypt. Soon afterwards, the Egyptian Army issued a 48-hour ultimatum which aired on television that gave the country’s political parties until 3 July to meet the demands of the anti-Morsi demonstrators. The Egyptian military also threatened to intervene if the dispute was not resolved by then.
Millions of Egyptians are demanding the overthrow of Morsi, 2 July 2013
On 3 July 2013, the Egyptian Armed Forces declared that as the political parties had failed to meet the deadline and Morsi had failed to build a national consensus for his leadership, the army had to overthrow Morsi in a coup d’état. The army then installed Adly Mansour as the interim head of state in his place until a new president could be elected, and ordered the arrest of many members of the Muslim Brotherhood on charges of “inciting violence and disturbing general security and peace.” El-Sisi announced on television that the president had “failed to meet the demands of the Egyptian people” and declared that the constitution would be temporarily suspended, which was met by acceptance from anti-Morsi demonstrations and condemnation from pro-Morsi supporters in Rabaa al-Adawiya.
On 24 July 2013, during a speech at a military parade, el-Sisi called for mass demonstrations to grant the Egyptian military and police a “mandate” to crack down on terrorism. While supporters interpreted this to mean that el-Sisi felt the need of the people to prove to the world that it was not a coup but the popular will, the statement was seen by opponents as contradicting the military’s pledges to hand over power to civilians after removing Morsi and as indicating an imminent crackdown against Islamists.
On 26 March 2014, in response to calls from his military supporters to run for presidency, Sisi retired from his military career, announcing that he would run as a candidate in the 2014 presidential election.