As the United States continues to press Egyptian officials to begin the “orderly transition” President Barack Obama called for on Tuesday night, more attention is being paid to Frank Wisner, the retired American diplomat who met with Hosni Mubarak on behalf of the administration this week.
In my colleague Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s profile of Mr. Wisner, she reported that the 72-year-old retired ambassador and businessman trusted with this delicate mission “joined the lobbying firm Patton Boggs” two years ago.
As the Mideast Wire blog noted on Tuesday, Mr. Wisner’s lobbying firm has worked on behalf of the Egyptian government for two of the three decades Mr. Mubarak has been in power.
According to a description of the lobbying firm’s experience in Egypt on its Web site:
Patton Boggs has been active in Egypt for 20 years. We have advised the Egyptian military, the Egyptian Economic Development Agency, and have handled arbitrations and litigation on the government’s behalf in Europe and the U.S. Our attorneys also represent some of the leading Egyptian commercial families and their companies, and we have been involved in oil and gas and telecommunications infrastructure projects on their behalf. One of our partners also served as the Chairman of the U.S.-Egyptian Chamber of Commerce, promoting foreign direct investment into targeted sectors of the Egyptian economy. We have also handled negotiation of offset agreements and managed contractor disputes in military sales agreements arising under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales Act.
-- posted in NYT