An excerpt from, "U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford to retire: sources" Reuters, February 4:
Ford had been expected to become U.S. ambassador to Egypt, according to several sources, but Egyptian government officials had objected because they regarded him as too close to Islamist parties in the Middle East.What's not to like about this new Egypt? They've shown Al-Jazeera the door after they abused their power by unleashing a volcano of lies against the Egyptian state and broadcasting propaganda in favour of the terrorist gangs that are under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood. And now Egypt has told the biggest collaborator of Al-Qaeda in Syria to take a hike. Way to go, Egypt! Keep it going.
A former State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was his understanding that the Egyptian government had made clear it did not want Ford to go to Cairo to serve as U.S. ambassador.
Under diplomatic practice known as "agrement," a country typically contacts another country before sending an ambassador to ensure the choice is acceptable. In this case, Ford's candidacy did not even get that far, said the former U.S. official, who has spoken to Egyptian officials about the matter.
"The Egyptians didn't want him. My understanding is that there is an informal query before they ask for ‘agrement.' They didn't ask for ‘agrement' because the informal sounding (from the Egyptians) was ‘We're not interested.'"
"My understanding from the Egyptian side is that … they felt he had helped foment disorder in Syria by supporting insurgents and …that he was to comfortable with Islamists," said the former official, adding that he flatly disagreed with that view.
Egypt has been in turmoil since pro-democracy protests in 2011, followed by the toppling of elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last July. Egypt's army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who deposed Mursi, has since been given the green light to seek election as president, a vote he is likely to win.