Lobbyist sticks with 'partner' Egypt

At least one lobbyist for the Egyptian government in Washington said he has no plans to end his contract with the country. 

In an e-mail to The Hill, former Rep. Toby Moffett (D-Conn.), co-chairman of the PLM Group, said "we have always been very proud to represent Egypt."

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"They are perhaps America's most important partner in terms of maintaining any semblance of peace and stability not only in the Middle East but in Africa," Moffett said. "So I can't imagine why anyone would think we want to stop working with Egypt."

Since 2007, the PLM Group has represented Egypt's embassy here in the United States, according to Justice Department records.  

Formed in March 2007, the PLM Group is a joint venture between the Podesta Group, run by well-known Democratic fundraiser and lobbyist Tony Podesta, and the Livingston Group, headed by former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.). Moffett — chairman of his own firm, the Moffett Group — serves as co-chairman of the venture. 

Moffet noted that his views of the venture’s ties to Egypt are his alone, and that he has not spoken to Livingston or Podesta about the matter.

This week, Egypt has been overwhelmed with protests against President Hosni Mubarak. Angry over human rights abuses by the government, demonstrators have clashed with police, who have used tear gas and beaten people with batons to quell the protests. Mubarak ordered his government to resign on Friday but did not offer to step down. 

Despite frequent allegations of repressive tactics against Mubarak's opponents, the Egyptian government has been a key ally of the United States in the region for decades. Unlike several other Arab states, Egypt has worked to achieve peace with Israel and has tried to rally others to that cause. 

A spokesman for the Podesta Group declined to comment. Messages left with the Livingston Group were not immediately returned.

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