Ahmed Maher: Former Egyptian foreign minister
Thursday 30 September 2010
Ahmed Maher, who died on 27 September aged 75, was a former Egyptian foreign minister who served as the country's leading diplomat between 2001 and 2004.
Generally considered an outsider in Egyptian politics, the career diplomat, who was ambassador to Moscow and Washington in the 1990s, succeeded Amr Mussa as Foreign Minister after Mussa was appointed head of the Arab League. Maher's work as Foreign Minister was dominated by the 9/11 attacks on the United States, the US-led invasion of Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was replaced in 2004 by Egypt's current foreign minister Ahmed Abul Gheit.
The previous year, during a rare visit to Israel as part of Egyptian efforts to relaunch the peace process, Maher was attacked by Palestinian activists in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem. The Palestinians booed and hurled shoes at him, in protest at Egypt's perceived policy of appeasement towards Israel.
Born in Cairo on 14 September, 1935, Maher came from a family of diplomats and politicians. After studying law at Cairo University, he entered the foreign ministry, serving as a junior diplomat in Congo, France and Switzerland in the 1960s. He rose rapidly through the ranks, and was part of the Camp David talks in 1978, where he was assigned to coordinate efforts with the US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. He also attended the 1988 talks that delivered Taba back to Egyptian control after Israel occupied the town in 1967.
Later, as Foreign Minister, Maher was unafraid to provoke controversy. He criticised American calls to replace Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein, maintaining that the choice of head of state was a matter for the countries concerned. And before the US-led invasion of Iraq, he said military confrontation was the last thing the region needed, warning that economies would be hit and that an atmosphere of violence would emerge.
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Russell Brand opposes anti-Semitism after death threats: 'We must disavow all forms of prejudice that lead to exclusion and execution'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...