US Appoints New (Jewish) Ambassador to Cairo


Photo Credit: US Dept of State / public domain

US Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan R. Cohen

The United States has appointed a new ambassador to Cairo for the first time in more than two years, according to a report in Ahram Online.

Ambassador Jonathan Cohen, a Jewish American, arrived in the Egyptian capital on Sunday to begin his term as the new US ambassador to Cairo, where he presented his credentials at the country’s foreign ministry.


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Cohen, who previously served as Acting US Representative to the United Nations after Ambassador Nikki Haley resigned, and before Ambassador Kelly Craft took up her post, has also served as deputy assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs covering Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.

In addition, he has served at US embassies in Iraq, Turkey, Cyprus, France, Italy and Sweden.

The position was vacant since former US Ambassador Robert Stephen Beecroft completed his three-year term in July 2017. Thomas H. Goldberger has been maintaining the embassy as Charge d’Affaires ever since.

The US suspended military aid to Egypt under the Obama administration following the 2013 ouster of Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi after his one-year reign. The funding was not released until two years later, causing friction between Cairo and Washington as a result.

Under the Trump administration, Egypt-American ties have improved, with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi praising President Donald Trump and expressing his expectation that there would be “greater engagement” from his new administration in the Middle East.

The new US Ambassador to Egypt earned a graduate degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

His senior thesis in Near Eastern Studies for a BA in Politics at Princeton University was entitled, ‘A Last Chance to Brighten the Faint Gleam of Peace: Direct Negotiations, the Arab Option for Regaining Sovereignty on the West Bank.’

The US Senate confirmed Cohen’s nomination on April 11, 2019 by President Trump on August 1, with a voice vote.


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