U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke enthusiastically about Egypt in a speech on Friday but made a very undiplomatic boo-boo by stating that Egyptian President Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is committed to Israel’s future.
Yes, that is what he said. Here is the entire sentence, according to the official U.S. State Dept, transcript of his speech at American Chamber of Commerce of Egypt in Sharm el-Sheikh.:
President Sisi has engaged on a bold and critical path to implement reforms. He’s committed to restoring investor confidence in Israel’s future.”
The State Dept. later noted that he meant to say “Egypt’s future.”
How could a mistake like that have been made by the Secretary of the State of the United States of America, the man who knows he can bring peace between Israel and the Arab world, and between Iran and the rest of the world? The U.S. Embassy in Cairo had a nifty explanation for the blooper and posted on Twitter:
“Clear theme of @JohnKerry speech/visit today: confidence in #EGYPT’s future. All night flight+morning event=unintended slip (wrong country!)
Jet lag is definitely a problem for diplomats like Kerry, who seem to spend more time on the plane than at home.
But excuses are not going save the world when he sits with Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and says “Hamas, whoops I mean Israel,” or sits with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and says, “Jews, whoops I mean settlers.”
But all of that could be forgiven because his talks with the Palestinian Authority and Israel were nothing more than a way to boost profits for hotels where he stayed, but what happens when he talking with Iran over its nuclear program?
First of all, he has to remember he is in Switzerland today and not in Swaziland.
His aides need to remind him he is talking to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and not Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
And Kerry needs to be reminded that “peaceful nuclear energy” in Iran means in plain English, “A nuclear bomb to destroy not only Israel but also the United States.”