Under Hosni Mubarak's regime, Egypt suffered a significant decline in its traditional role in Arab, regional, and international affairs. Egypt completely lost its cultural, religious, and political leadership positions during this period, and our country was limited to marginal mediator roles or to following other countries' policies. The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) platform aims to outline the foreign-policy principles that will restore Egypt to its rightful place in world affairs.
The FJP believes that Egypt must leverage its great geographical, historical, cultural, and political heritage to regain the privileged position it deserves -- despite the current meagerness of its material resources and its weak regional and international presence. Egypt can employ its great heritage to this end: Indeed, wise investment of this heritage can achieve a great return, enhancing Egypt's image, status, and foreign policy for very little cost.
Furthermore, the FJP believes that despite the Egyptian president's constitutional responsibility for foreign policy, determining Egypt's international vision should not be the sole responsibility of one individual, as was the case in Egypt for the past few decades. The ethical foundation of the January 25 revolution dictates that there should be an active role for all state institutions, as well as all societal components, in shaping and implementing Egypt's foreign policy.
Thus, the FJP's platform is only one of the elements that will shape a comprehensive, shared vision of Egypt's new role in the world. Egyptian foreign policy should reflect the views of as many of Egypt's parties and stakeholders as possible -- and every Egyptian should be involved in its implementation on the ground.
The FJP believes that Egyptian foreign policy should aspire to transform the world into a more democratic, humane, equitable, and interdependent place. These views are based on the values of our Islamic faith, as well as the foundations of civilization and enlightenment rooted in the principles of the glorious January 25 revolution, which put freedom, human dignity, and social justice at the top of the nation's priority list.
Restoring an ethical dimension to Egyptian foreign policy should not be looked at as a merely utopian vision. We must realize that by pursuing this end, we will eventually achieve Egypt's national interests. Our country also has a number of "soft-power" tools that can help it regain its international role -- for example, the role of al-Azhar University and the Coptic Church, as well as science, cultural and art institutions, relief organizations, and business associations.
A number of basic principles underpin the FJP's foreign-policy vision. First among them is our belief that Egyptian foreign relations with all countries should be based on a foundation of equality and mutual interests -- not dependency and domination. The goal should be boosting peaceful relations with all countries and peoples in support of international justice, peace, and security.