Egypt Looking for Public-Affairs Help as Strife Continues

Search Comes as Government Faces Backlash for Using Violence to Quell Protests

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Egypt is seeking global public affairs support as the international community responds to violence plaguing the nation.

The government -- currently led by interim president Adly Mansour, who was named to the post by Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi -- is in talks with a handful of firms that have strong public-affairs capabilities in the U.S. and Europe, and has issued at least one global RFP out of London, according to people familiar with the matter.

It's not immediately clear who the government has reached out to at this point, but when asked if they'd consider taking on Egypt as a client right now, a few large agency executives said no. In the words of one agency executive, "There's too much risk and uncertainty."

Calls to the Eyptian consulate were not returned.

General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt
General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi  of Egypt

The move comes as Egypt's government faces backlash for using violence to quell protests by the Muslim Brotherhood, the opposing political party recently forced out of power. But it also follows violence and uncertainty that has remained rampant in the nation since Arab Spring protests forced former president Hosni Mubarak to step down in 2011, leading to the first Democratic election in Egypt since 1950.

Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won that election, but a military coup on July 3 ousted the controversial leader and empowered the current interim government under. Since then, the use of the military to crack down -- often violently -- on street protests has fueled global tensions and threats of cuts in funding to the nation.

For example, in mid-August, the Obama administration condemned the violence. "The violence will only make it more difficult to move Egypt forward on a path to lasting stability and democracy, and runs directly counter to the pledges by the interim government to pursue reconciliation," stated spokesman Josh Earnest.

In the same speech, he said that the U.S. would evaluate the $1.3 billion in annual aid it sends to the region. A month earlier, the British Government "revoked five export licences for equipment destined for Egypt" in response to the force used during protests, according to The Guardian.

Although violence in Egypt is still rampant, Egypt's interim government is gaining support and is expected to make a more permanent play for power.

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CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi was the interim president of Egypt. Adly Mansour was announced as interim presiden by Gen. Al Sisi, the minister of defense.

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