WASHINGTON, Nov 20—Recognizing Egypt’s critical role in the Arab world, President Obama selected Cairo for a landmark speech in June. To continue to lead the Middle East and enhance regional security, Egypt should work to strengthen the nonproliferation regime. The 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference is Egypt’s next best chance to advance its disarmament goals, contends a new paper by Kimberly Misher.

Key Conclusions

  • If Egypt is concerned about the possibility of one of its neighbors developing nuclear weapons, strengthening the treaty is in its best interest.
  • Egypt has an opportunity to further its disarmament objectives during the Review Conference as it will chair both the New Agenda Coalition and the Non-Aligned Movement.
  • In order for Egypt to achieve progress in a changing international climate, it should agree to incremental progress rather than demanding all-or-nothing decisions.
  • Egypt’s regional influence could diminish if the country’s negotiating strategy is seen as preventing progress on regional disarmament and the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
  • The United States should consider Egypt’s proposed steps for implementing the Resolution on the Middle East.  

“Egypt’s role in preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East is especially urgent. As Iran advances its nuclear capability, Egypt increasingly faces the prospect of being politically sandwiched between two nuclear-armed states,” says Misher. “By pressing for security and disarmament within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Egypt may be able to solidify Arab perspectives on arms control and strengthen its regional leadership.”



  • Kimberly Misher is a research assistant in the Nonproliferation Program at the Carnegie Endowment. She conducts research on U.S. missile defense, extended deterrence, and nuclear policy.
  • The Carnegie Nonproliferation Program is an internationally recognized source of knowledge and policy thinking on efforts to curb the spread and use of nuclear weapons. Carnegie’s analysis consistently stays at the forefront of proliferation developments and nonproliferation policy debates.
  • Carnegie Proliferation News provides synopses of top news stories related to preventing the spread and use of nuclear weapons every Tuesday and Thursday.