Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Badr Abdelatty announced Tuesday that the United States must nominate a new ambassador to Egypt, nearly nine months after former ambassador Anne Patterson left office.
Abdelatty said that the US ambassador is required by “diplomatic norms” between the nations.
A spokesman at Abdelatty’s office confirmed his comments, adding that all appointments are made by the American side and are not subject to Egyptian input. The spokesman declined to comment further, saying only that Egypt has requested an ambassador.
The US has not had an ambassador in Egypt since Anne Patterson left office in August 2013. Patterson served a mere 26-months as ambassador.
After the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi by the military following mass protests, Patterson was criticised by many Egyptians as being one-sided and sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood.
After Patterson left her post, Al-Ahram Arabic published an article suggesting she was conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Patterson, in response, sent a letter to the editor of the state-run daily, saying: “Your article’s claim that I personally am involved in a conspiracy to divide and destabilise Egypt is absolutely absurd and dangerous… Make no mistake – false articles such as this one are a real threat to Egypt and to prospects for Egypt’s democratic transition.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry appointed diplomat David Satterfield to temporarily replace Anne Patterson.
Satterfield served as Chargé d’Affaires at the US embassy, taking a brief leave of absence from his position as Director General of the Multinational Force and Observers, an international monitoring force in Sinai.
Patterson, who served in Egypt for two years, left for Washington to assume her nomination as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.