Ahmad Maher (diplomat)

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Ahmad Maher
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
Preceded by Amr Moussa
Succeeded by Ahmed Aboul Gheit
Personal details
Born 14 September 1935
Died 27 September 2010(2010-09-27) (aged 75)
Nationality Egyptian
Alma mater Cairo University

Ahmad Maher (Arabic: أحمد ماهر‎) (14 September 1935 – 27 September 2010) was an Egyptian diplomat. He served as the foreign minister of Egypt from 2001 to 2004.

Early life and education[edit]

Maher was born in Cairo on 14 September 1935.[1] He came from a family of diplomats and politicians.[2] He was the brother of Ambassador Ali Maher[3] and their grandfather, Ahmad Mahir Pasha, was one of the prime ministers of Egypt.[4] He studied law at Cairo University and graduated in 1956.[4]


After graduation Maher joined the foreign ministry in 1957, serving as a junior diplomat in Switzerland (9 February 1959 - 31 August 1963), Congo (5 May 1967 - 24 May 1971) and France (8 August 1974 - 30 September 1977).[3] In addition, he was the national security advisor to the president of Egypt from 1971 to 1974.[5] Next he was named as the head of the foreign minister’s staff.from 1978 to 1980.[5] He was part of the Camp David talks in 1978, where he was assigned to coordinate efforts with the then US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.[2] He also took part in the 1988 talks, leading to the return of Taba to Egyptian control after Israel occupied the town in 1967.[6]

Generally considered an outsider in Egyptian politics, Maher had a distinguished career as a diplomat. Most notably, he was ambassador to the Soviet Union (1 October 1988 - 19 June 1992) as well as ambassador to Portugal (5 September 1980 - 8 November 1982) and Belgium (8 November 1982 - 9 December 1984).[7] In addition, he served as the ambassador in Washington for seven years from 7 July 1992 to 14 September 1999.[3][8] He retired from office in 1999.[8] After retirement, he was named as the director of the Special Arab Aid Fund for Africa (SAAFA) in Cairo, a body of the Arab League, in 2000.[5][9]

He was appointed foreign minister on 15 May 2001, being the 71st figure in the post.[9][10] He succeeded Amr Moussa as foreign minister after Moussa was appointed head of the Arab League.[11] When he was in office many significant events in regard to the Arab world occurred, including the 9/11 attacks on the United States, the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.[6] During a 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 in December 2003.[12] The Palestinians booed and hurled shoes at him in protest at Egypt's perceived policy of appeasement towards Israel.[11] His term ended in 2004 and Ahmed Aboul Gheit replaced him in the post.[6]

In July 2010, Hosni Mobarak appointed him a member of the parliament's upper house, or Shura Council.[11]


Maher died of a heart attack on 27 September 2010 at the age of 75.[11][13][14]


  1. ^ "Ahmed Maher named Egypt's new Foreign Minister attention". Arabic News. 15 May 2001. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Slaceman, Michael (16 May 2001). "Egypt Names New Foreign Minister". Los Angeles Times (Cairo). Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Not a popularity contest". Al Ahram Weekly (534). 17–23 May 2001. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Luxner, Larry (1 October 1997). "Cairo's man in Washington". The Middle East. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Mustafa, Mohamed (27 September 2010). "Former Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher dies". Egypt Independent. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Ahmed Maher: Former Egyptian foreign minister". The Independent. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Nkrumah, Gamal (16–22 June 2005). "Ahmed Maher: A diplomat and a gentleman". Al-Ahram Weekly. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Egypt: Former FM dies at 75". Al Bawaba. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Profile: Ahmed Maher". BBC. 22 December 2003. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "Foreign Minister Appointed". APS Diplomat Recorder. 19 May 2001. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Former Egyptian foreign minister dies at 75". Daily News Egypt. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  12. ^ James, Ed (23 December 2003). "Egyptian minister attacked in mosque". Daily Post. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Former Egyptian foreign minister dies at 75". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  14. ^ Dunn, M. Collins (27 September 2010). "Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Amr Moussa
Foreign Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by
Ahmed Aboul Gheit