Tension erupted between Saudi Arabia and Egypt after the latter voted in favour of the draft resolution from Russia in the United Nations security council on Saturday.
Following Egypt’s vote, the Ministry of Petroleum said that Aramco, a governmental Saudi oil company, has suspended its oil aid to Egypt; however, the five-year agreement between them is still in effect.
Saudi Arabia’s support for opposition forces in Syria has been voiced. In 2013, The Financial Times reported that the kingdom was financially supporting the groups—at times providing them with weapons and other supplies.
Currently, Saudi Arabia leads a military that was allegedly responsible for a raid in Yemen last week that resulted in death of an estimated 140 Yemeni civilians. Although the coalition denied culpability for the raid, the US said it would reconsider its stance towards the coalition.
Political analyst Gamal Sultan told Daily News Egypt that Egypt’s decision to vote on two different resolutions in the UN security council was “the wrong decision”. He added that the justification given by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry following the vote was irrational as well.
Sultan said: “Egypt had alternatives; it could have refrained from voting on the Russian resolution. This could have saved Egypt from criticism, rather than having an indefinite stance.”
Regarding Aramco’s decision, Sultan said that consequences of Egypt’s “weird” voting may have effects on its short-term relations with Saudi Arabia. He further added that Egypt was trying to please all parties, which is not possible, and now must withstand the results of what happened.
Sultan concluded by saying that Russia and Saudi Arabia are important allies to Egypt, and Egypt cannot afford to lose its strong ties with Saudi Arabia.
The spokesperson of Al-Ghad Al-Soury Movement, Ali El-Assy, told Daily News Egypt that Egypt took the right decision at the UN security council. He said that Egypt’s stance is balanced and that Egypt’s permanent envoy to the UN, Amr Aboul Atta, clearly explained why Egypt voted in favour of both draft resolutions.
El-Assy added that the international community has no real intention of reaching a political solution in Syria, and the stance the Egypt took at the UN security council shows its understanding of the “political reality”. He said the other resolutions that seek an end to the current turmoil do not exist as real solutions.
“We want someone who can stop the blood in Syria,” El-Assy continued, saying that Qatar’s criticism was expected, but that of Saudi Arabia was “rather weird” as both countries enjoy strong ties.
Egypt voted on Saturday in favour of two different resolutions regarding the peace process in Syria at the UN security council. Saudi Arabia and Qatar heavily slammed Egypt’s vote in favour of the Russian resolution. Russia has carried out several airstrikes in Syria and is supportive of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. Many claim this support has led to death of thousands of civilians and accuse both parties of committing war crimes.
The two suggested resolutions covered key points to reach peace in Syria, such as the necessity of humanitarian aid and cessation of hostilities across the country. However, a crucial clause absent from the Russian resolution was the immediate halt of airstrikes and military flights over Syria.
The two resolutions failed to be adopted by the security council as Russia appealed against the French resolution using its veto power. France, the US, and the UK then appealed against the Russian resolution using their own power to veto.
To justify the voting decision, Aboul Atta said that Egypt is seeking any solution that may bring peace to Syria. He added that the security council’s decision was a message of failure sent to the Syrian people.