The workshop brought together a group of Egyptian activists, opposition party members, journalists and representatives of civil society organizations from across the political spectrum with a small number of UK policy-makers to discuss Egypt's changing political landscape and its relations with the UK and the West.
Key findings that emerged included:
- Egyptians feel that in the post-Mubarak era they have an unprecedented opportunity to reshape the political landscape.
- Challenges that will be faced include increasing political awareness at the grassroots; connecting activists and the political elite to the needs of marginalized populations, especially in rural areas; and encouraging/enabling a fragmented opposition to coalesce into coherent groups.
- The military's role in politics is seen as problematic and it should be replaced by a civilian government as soon as possible.
- The Mubarak era has left a bitter legacy in Egypt's relations with the West, as most Egyptians perceive Western governments to have been supporters of his rule; Western policy-makers will have to make serious efforts to build relationships of trust with the new political actors in Egypt.
See also: Middle East and North Africa Programme reports