Osama El-Baz

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Osama El-Baz at Camp David in 1978

Osama El-Baz (About this sound listen ; Arabic: أسامة الباز‎‎) (1931 – September 14, 2013)[1] was an Egyptian diplomat and a Senior Advisor to former President Hosni Mubarak.

Career[edit]

A graduate from Cairo University, he studied for six years in the United States, where he obtained his master's degree as well as a PhD from Harvard Law School.[citation needed]

El-Baz later joigned the Egyptian foreign service, and was made chef de cabinet with ambassadorial rank in 1977. When Ismail Fahmi resigned in 1977 to protest President Anwar El Sadat's visit to Jerusalem, El-Baz volunteered to help the president in planning his negotiations with Israel. He was sent to Israel where he negotiated the terms for the Egyptian President's visit. His colleague in those preparations was Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who later went on to become Secretary-General of the United Nations. El-Baz represented the Arab nationalist, while Boutros-Ghali was a cautious pro-Westerner.

Following Sadat's assassination in 1981, Egypt's new president Hosni Mubarak took El-Baz as an advisor, where he headed the Presidential Office for Political Affairs.

El-Baz was considered an éminence grise[by whom?], and was more influential than most members of the Cabinet, especially in foreign-policy matters. He was sent on sensitive missions which would be inappropriate for the Foreign Minister to undertake.

According to Al-Ahram, he was sidelined during the last years of the Hosni Mubarak regime. El-Baz was even spotted during the 18-day Tahrir Square sit-in in January 2011, at the start of the Arab Spring.[2]

Osama El-Baz was a brother of famed NASA geologist Farouk El-Baz.

References[edit]