The Role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

​Structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign policy is considered an essential component of Egyptian policy. It seeks to achieve its objectives, particularly in terms of foreign diplomatic action and protecting interests of the Egyptian State and the Egyptian citizens abroad.

This is reached through the Egyptian embassies, consulates, and missions abroad, some of which cover other areas with non-resident representation to further strengthen Egypt's international relations network largely appreciated by the international community, and realize the country's prestigious status. 

Such complex and extended network of international relations is managed by the least possible number of diplomatic and administrative cadres with high performance to achieve greater efficiency in realizing the Egyptian interests and protecting those of the citizens. The prestigious diplomatic representation reflects Egypt's historical and international status as part of the rational employment of manpower and expenditure so as to preserve the country's resources, through cutting costs on the one hand, and supporting the State's efforts aiming to encourage foreign investment flow into the Egyptian market, and to promote tourism and revenues of consular services, in order to contribute not only in the expenses of managing Egypt's foreign relations, but also to add resources in hard currency to the State's budget.

Egyptian diplomats are internationally renowned with their high and outstanding qualities proper to the Egyptian diplomacy school. They are assisted by a highly performing financial and administrative staff appointed in the ministry and dispatched abroad via two different stages of written and oral examinations. They are entrusted as well with managing relations with the diplomatic and consular corps accredited to the Arab Republic of Egypt, being one of the biggest countries of accreditation, as the number of foreign embassies and consulates resident in Egypt is estimated to about 142 embassies, 25 consulates, and 71 international organizations, asCairoalso hosts the headquarters of a number of international organizations, particularly the League of Arab States and other organizations. These countries and organizations chose to have their headquarters in Egypt to cover their relations with some other neighboring countries through non-resident representation, in recognition of Egypt's weight and regional and international roles, and in application of the international principle of "reciprocity" by exchanging diplomatic representation with Egypt.

The role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in protecting interests of the Egyptian citizens abroad

The Foreign Ministry attaches high priority to protecting Egyptian citizens abroad, as it is keen to provide all possible assistance to them through providing consular services via the Egyptian diplomatic and consular missions abroad to serve Egyptians all over the world, in addition to the countrywide network of consular services offices affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry also seeks to solve the problems they may encounter and reinforce their own sense of belonging and that of their sons to their homeland and communicates with them. It also monitors all elections so that to guarantee equality between citizens at home and abroad.

The Role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the service of the State's objectives and supporting the democratic process following the two revolutions in Egypt

Since development is considered one of the key objectives of the State's general policy, the Foreign Ministry engages in the country's development efforts by attracting foreign investments, and obtaining economic assistance, as well as facilitating technology transfer. To reach this goal, departments related to international cooperation and economic relations have been established within the Ministry, to be in charge of coordination and cooperation with competent Egyptian ministries and institutions.

The Foreign Ministry also seeks to consolidate Egypt's bilateral and multilateral relations, to serve the Egyptian public policy objectives by strengthening traditional friendly relations with all countries, as well as laying foundations for new relations, so as to activate Egypt's role on the international arena and serve Egyptian interests worldwide.

Traditional relations on the Arab and African levels are maintained through interaction within regional organizations; such as the League of Arab States and the African Union. Bilateral relations between Egypt and the Arab and African countries are also promoted through holding consultations, and widening the scope of cooperation in all fields, as well as exchanging expertise and visits in the different areas.The Ministry is also committed to boosting Egypt's strategic relationships with the various countries and with regional blocs to support sustainable development efforts in the service of the Egyptian strategic interests on regional and international levels.

As cooperation between the Foreign Ministry and the international community via international organizations is considered a pillar of Egypt's foreign policy, particularly the United Nations, especially since local events are associated nowadays with international developments, with the emergence of transnational threats, such as global terrorism, organized crime, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which requires collective action to address such threats. Therefore, the Ministry plays an important and effective role within the UN and its specialized agencies, as well as in the various international organizations to foster peace, security, and economic development.

Promoting awareness for the Egyptian culture and supporting the soft power of the Egyptian ancient civilization is another aspect of the Egyptian foreign policy action. The cultural Department at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry contributes to enhancing cultural relations between Egypt and the various countries. The Department also cooperates with the different Egyptian institutions such as Al-Azhar University, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, and the Ministry of Education to offer scholarships and training courses to African and Asian students. The Ministry also coordinates with the concerned Egyptian cultural bodies to organize cultural activities and folkloric events which help bring Egypt closer together with the various nations.

In light of the new stature of the Arab Republic of Egypt after the twoRevolutions of January 25th 2011, and June 30th, 2013, the duties assumed by the Egyptian embassies and consulates abroad have increased in protecting the interests of the State and the Egyptian citizens abroad, as they realized huge success in monitoring election for Egyptians abroad, during the parliamentary and presidential elections, starting from April 2011, a few days following the decision entrusting the Egyptian embassies abroad with organizing the elections for the first time in Egypt's history, and without prior arrangements or preparations.

Everybody, abroad and at home, praised the Egyptian Foreign Service's high-level organization and management, besides integrity in terms of the voting process at the missions abroad, as well as tabulating ballots before sending the results to the Supreme Elections Commission. It is worth noting that the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the only Egyptian body that assumed complete management of the Egyptian election process abroad in all stages, starting with scheduling the voting process after the official working hours and during weekends and holidays in a continuous effort until sorting of the results.Such effort was carried out by the Egyptian embassies and consulates, and by increasing the number of the Ministry's staff in missions that have larger Egyptian communities within the scope of their jurisdiction, without adding extra expenses to the State Treasury or any additional material or human burdens beyond the regular expenditure of these embassies, except for the purchase of ballot boxes that were added to the register of these missions to be used in future elections.​