Egypt turns to K Street after U.S. aid cut
The Egyptian government has returned to K Street.
The Glover Park Group has been hired by Egypt to “provide public diplomacy, strategic communications counsel and government relations services” for the country’s government, according to documents obtained by The Hill. The lobby and communications firm filed those records with the Justice Department on Friday.
The move by Egypt to sign up one of Washington’s most prominent influence shops ends its K Street exile. Egypt last had lobbyists in its employ more than a year ago when it parted ways with the PLM Group — made up of Podesta Group, the Livingston Group and the Moffett Group — in January 2012.
Since protesters first packed Cairo’s Tahrir Square more than two years ago, Egypt has been in political turmoil. The interim government’s recent violent crackdown on its opponents led the United States this week to suspend some of its foreign aid to Egypt — including proposed sales of F-16 fighter jets, M1 Abrams tanks and Apache attack helicopters as well as about $260 million in cash assistance.
“As a result of the review directed by President Obama, we have decided to maintain our relationship with the Egyptian government, while recalibrating our assistance to Egypt to best advance our interests,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Wednesday.
Glover Park plans to help Egypt back into the United States’ good graces. The firm’s work “will include communications associated with the Government’s implementation of its Road Map to build the institutions of an inclusive democratic state through parliamentary and presidential elections,” according to Justice records.
Further, Glover Park will support the Egyptian government’s communications “with U.S. government officials, business community, non-governmental audiences and the media” as well as help with “fostering and facilitating exchanges between the U.S. and Egypt.”
The records are dated this Friday and are signed by Joel Johnson, Glover Park’s managing director. Johnson is a former senior aide to President Bill Clinton and ex-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).
The terms of the firm’s contract with Egypt have not been determined yet but Glover Park plans to file that agreement on a later date.
Glover Park’s own research shows that Egypt’s image could use some polishing in the United States. In July, the firm issued an analysis of U.S. polls on foreign policy — including one showing Egypt’s favorability in America had dropped 18 points since 2010.
Glover Park is one of K Street’s more experienced shops in representing foreign governments and politicians. Justice records show that the firm has advocated in the past for the governments of Colombia, Georgia and South Korea among others.
The firm also lobbies for some of America’s biggest companies, such as Apple, Coca-Cola and Lockheed Martin. Glover Park has made roughly $3.6 million in lobbying fees so far this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.