|Biographical detail : ||An Egyptian diplomat.
Ismail Fahmi was a career diplomat on whom great events conferred an international prominence, which ended as arbitrarily and abruptly as it began. It was his professional instincts, the diplomat’s natural concern for order, balance and harmony in his country’s international affairs that spurred him and brought him down. Born into a well-to-do, politically active Cairo family, Fahmi joined the diplomatic service five years before the overthrow of King Farouk. He held several prominent positions for his intelligence, engaging personality and multi-lingual skills.
In 1972, when Egypt was overwhelmingly dependent, militarily and strategically, on the Soviet Union, he strongly criticised the Kremlin and thus he lost his position in Saadat’s government. Later, appointed as foreign minister, Fahmi became a key participant in the early embryonic achievements of Pax Americana, the Geneva conference, Dr Kissinger’s step-by-step diplomacy of military disengagement in Sinai and the Golan Heights.
Soon Fahmi grew increasingly restive with the affairs and tried to mend relations with the Soviet Union, convinced that it was as dangerous now, as it had been before, to put one’s faith in one super-power only. But he failed in his effort.
Fahmi disappeared without a word from public life. In his memoirs, Negotiating for Peace in the Middle East, did he later explain why he had felt obliged to step down. For Saadat to go to Jerusalem would, he had believed, “destroy Egypt’s leadership of the Arab world.”