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Is Egypt officially turning down its former ally Saudi Arabia? - Daily News Egypt

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Is Egypt officially turning down its former ally Saudi Arabia?

Bilateral relations were strained following Egypt voting in favour of a Russian resolution regarding peace in Syria at the United Nations security council

Bilateral relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia were significantly strained over the past few weeks, after Egypt deviated from its loyalty to the oil-rich country and took stances that did not comply with Saudi Arabia’s plans.

Despite pouring tens of millions of US dollars into Egypt following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, the two countries have opted for different paths in their relations and their foreign policies.

Officials from both countries repeatedly insisted that relations are not affected following Egypt’s odd moves that explicitly opposed its unspoken deal with Saudi Arabia. However, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ended his visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) prior to the arrival of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud—a step Al-Sisi would have never taken two months ago.

Political analyst Tarek Fahmy told Daily News Egypt that the tension between Egypt and Saudi Arabia was not a result of the Tiran and Sanafir islands case, and have not stemmed from Saudi’s bad terms with Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry. However, the problem is much deeper.

On 8 October, the first confrontation happened between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, when the former voted in favour of the Russian draft resolution in the United Nations (UN) security council regarding a peace solution in Syria. During the same session, Egypt had also voted in favour of a French resolution for Syria, a move which Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the UN described as “painful.” The two resolutions included key mutual points regarding ceasefires and humanitarian aid. Nonetheless, the Russian revolution did not include any provisions for halting airstrikes, which means that the Russian aerial bombardments in the Syrian city of Aleppo would continue. None of the resolutions were adopted by the UN security council, as they were both vetoed.

While Russia is backing Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, along with Iran which is not on very good terms with Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia is backing the rebels in Syria. Since the war had started in Syria, Egypt had announced that it supports the Syrian people and its encouragement to a political solution, claiming that it is the only way out to the Syrian crisis. However, in an interview with a Portuguese TV channel in November, Al-Sisi said that Egypt is supporting the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), which is affiliated to Al-Assad.

Fahmy said that Syria is one of the main issues between Egypt and Saudi Arabia; however, he added that it is not the only problem. The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen that is fighting the Houthi rebels was also another obstacle that led the two countries to their current dead-end.

Egypt had supported the Saudi-led coalition and its war in Yemen, and also announced full support to the current Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, which complies with the vision of Saudi Arabia. However, Egypt’s support to the coalition was reluctant, as it had not made major contributions to the military campaign as Saudi Arabia had expected.

Fahmy added that Egypt’s insufficient support to Saudi Arabia in the Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was yet another problem that tensioned the bilateral relations. The JASTA, which was vetoed by the US president Barack Obama, would have given US citizens who lost acquaintances or belongings in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center the right to sue Saudi Arabia.

Amid the current tension in relations, Egypt is trying to make new allies. Saudi Arabia’s oil company Aramco had suspended its oil supply to Egypt in October and November. Egypt shifted to Iraq for their oil supply. Iraq is also not on very good terms with Saudi Arabia.

According to Fahmy, there are two expected scenarios to the relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Either the situation will remain the same until the two countries reach a common ground, or there will be an escalation in the tension.

However, Fahmy said that the latest visit of Al-Sisi to the UAE was an attempt by the latter to soothe relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Egypt preconditioned that relations will be restored when political decisions stop impacting economic deals between both countries and Saudi media stops its campaign against Al-Sisi.

Fahmy further added that the UAE’s attempt was not the first. Abu Dhabi crown prince Mohamed Ben Zaid attempted a similar move, but to no avail.

Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry previously denied any tension between Egypt and Saudi Arabia; however, Egypt seems to be indifferent towards Saudi Arabia through its recently voiced stances.




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  • TM

    Is this amateur hour?

    Here are a few “errors” that might seem minor but completely change the narrative:

    a) Saudi contributed $45 billion since the 2011 revolution, not tens of millions.
    b) Egypt paying lip service instead of actual support for the Yemen coalition is quite considerable.
    c) Support for the legitimate government in Yemen is not a “Saudi vision” but a UN resolution.
    d) Saudi oil was not an “economic deal” but a Saudi grant to Egypt. As such, it can be revoked when political agendas don’t align. It’s called safeguarding interests.
    e) Saudi media might have criticized Sisi but they did not, by any measure, stoop as low as Egyptian media in the way they the campaign handled Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Arabia should stay the course. If Egypt cannot hold up it’s end of the bargain, then good riddance! It will definitely be a relief to the Saudi government that it doesn’t have to bail out the semi-failed state anymore.

    • Minymina

      You say that as if we owe you. You left out the part where Egypt has saved your a$$ in the gulf wars and fought countless others for our so called “neighbors”.

      Tribes with flags.

      That’s how Egyptians see Saudis.

      Your ancestors road camels and when the oil runs dry, your son will be riding one as well.

      • TM

        The same camel riders that conquered it in 641AD and ruled it until 969AD? Not bad for a bunch of camel riders, eh?

        Until Egyptians face the realization that they are a little more than over populated has been, they’ll be disappointed time and again by they’re blaring reality.

        • Minymina

          You have to go all the way back to 641AD to find an achievement. Sad.

          The whole world hates your guts and we pray day and night that you sad pathetic animals die out. You and your wahhabi ideology are the reason for all the terrorism in the world.

          • TM

            For an achievement, no. For conquest, yes.

            Whether the world “loves us” or ‘hates us” (a vary mature take on how the world works btw) doesn’t concern me much in this conversation. The fact that the world could care less about what Egypt thinks (on anything) shows how significant you are.

            Your country is irrelevant.

            I might have gone back to 610AD. By no means was that an achievement. I can’t believe we stayed until 969AD before deciding to leave your cesspool.

            But if we are talking about going back t find achievements, you’d have to go back to to 2504BC for the Pyramids or 288BC for the Library of Alexandria to find your “achievements”. You’ve been living off of other people ever since. Jumping from one sugar daddy to another. Doing the bidding of whoever paid you more. And we all know what people who do that are called.

            So, go back to your delusional visions of grandeur, because that’s all they are, delusional.

          • shika

            You are deeply mistaken my friend. I am not going to list the problems in Saudi Arabia as I believe you are more familiar with them than me. I will also wish you luck in overcoming your obstacles and bringing about a better future.

            That being said, I can’t understand where all this anger is coming from. Egypt’s support for stability in Syria does not stem from a desire to find a new ‘sugar daddy’. Frankly Syria at this moment of time has very little to offer. Invading arab countries or arming rebels to bring about instability, death and terrorism has never and will never be part of Egypts foreign policy. If anyone thought otherwise then they should have known better.

            I ask you to channel your energy into something better and more productive than throwing around insults and belittling others.

          • Minymina

            The fact that the world could care less about what Egypt thinks (on anything) shows how significant you are.

            Egypt has been the leader of the arab world since the 40’s so WTF are you even talking about?

            But if we are talking about going back t find achievements, you’d have to go back to to 2504BC for the Pyramids or 288BC for the Library of Alexandria to find your “achievements”.

            No, we simply have to go back to the 70’s.

            One day, the world is going to have enough of your BS and you’ll get nuked Whither by Israel or Iran. Someone is going to do it.

          • A

            Just what I expect from a Saudi with your mentality, you think the world actually gives a crap what you think. The only reason your country was able to exist is because no-one saw any value in it. The only reason it still exists is because the US doesn’t want Iraq or Iran to take over your oil. Once the oil runs out so will the entire reason for your country to exist. Then the majority of smart Saudis will leave, as they won’t want to bother with the likes of you.

            All the major empires of history ignored Saudi and for good reason. All Saudi can do is try to buy friends before the oil runs out and people go back to ignoring the cultural wasteland that it is and will always be. Unless the smart Saudis can get rid of mentalities like yours.

            Egypt has always been a regional power and a center of thought and culture. But of course just the fact that you can read is a miracle. You managed to read a few sentences in a history book, maybe after some rest you can read the chapter. It’s not just half a paragraph like Saudi.

            And it’s laughable that you try to imply something about Egypt when just 20 years ago Saudi Arabia was begging the world to save you from Saddam. You’re not a real state, you can’t even protect major landmarks in your own country, you need France to do it for you. Your army is a joke, the Houthis could probably wipe you out on their own.

            You should get back to kissing your King’s **** for money.

          • TM

            And just what I expect from someone like you, not a single relevant point and a complete lack of knowledge of the region’s history.

            It’s ok, I don’t blame you, I blame the failed state you call a country and the lack of investment in education.

          • A

            It’s OK, I understand my points went over your head. I don’t have time to give you an in-depth history lesson, sorry. The region’s history? LOL! The history is no-one gave a crap, then (through divine intervention) a bunch of tribes scored wins against the weakened Byzantine and Persian empires, then they became irrelevant (that’s too light of a word) again. All subsequent empires just wanted Mecca and Medina, and ignored the rest of the wasteland. There’s a reason the capitals of Islamic empires were Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, not a single city in that dump.

            Not a single significant scientist in world history can be traced back to Saudi. Not a single scientific idea either. Even Islam, which originated out of Saudi, has its oldest institutions in Cairo and the rest of the significant Middle East 😀

            That’s truly pathetic!

            Now you found oil and so people pretend to give a crap, until it runs out and no-one will give a crap again. And if you get too uppity the US will just formally colonize the oil fields. Unless the Houthi’s wipe the floor with you first!

            Out of my respect for my Saudi friends, I hope they can fix their country before it gets ignored thanks to mentalities like yours, thinking money equals significance. Here’s a small tip: North Korea is significant thanks to its army, but irrelevant to humanity because it has no scientific or cultural contributions to offer. Though I’m sure it has more to offer than Saudi, which has contributed hateful despicable ideologies and a level of oppression unmatched around the world. Maybe instead of spending your time insulting Egypt you can focus on fixing your country.

      • shika

        Saudi Arabia has come a very long away and is now a regional power than have stood by us numerous times (including but not limited to when they caused in the oil crisis in 1973). Lets try and understand their point of view before jumping to accusations and insults.

        • Minymina

          Their point of view is exporting wahhabism. I’m sorry but I can’t accept that or see logic in it.

    • Dr. Gogu

      I just hate Saudi Arabia.

      I met some Saudis here in the US and ALL of them were arrogant and just plain annoying. ALL of them paid money to get into academic institutions, while NOT ONE Egyptian did. And the Saudis know it. Although they can buy their way into America’s largest universities, they know they paid for it, and they know Egyptians get their positions by their hard work. That’s the real difference. The Saudis have the money, Egyptians have the intellect. This will not change until the end of time.

      Even their spread across the region during their “glorious days” was through forced conquest. What culture have they left in the places they had been other than hatred of all other religions? You can find Egyptian monuments and art in all corners of the Earth. Saudi Arabia’s malignant culture smothers their very own citizens, treating women like properties of men. Men are decapitated in public squares. What we get in Egypt in the form of violent terrorism is all but a smudge of their wicked ideology. Imagine the lifelong horror of the Saudi woman, unable to be independent until her death.

      The Egyptians you see today are all but a tiny hint of their predecessors. Egyptians today are “Arabized”, unfortunately. Remember, the ancient Egyptians amazed the Greeks in every way. Their culture was out of this world. Their code of honor and how they believed their dead will be judged was impressive. Their concept of heaven was simply Egypt! Not a heaven full of honey and women. They were not greedy. Their concept of hell was not a huge pit of fire, but a state of non-existence, not eternal agony. How civilized is that?

      Poverty is not Egypt’s problem. Egyptians have traditionally been poor throughout history. Egypt’s problem is giving a chance to Saudi Arabia to invest its evil ideologies in Egypt. In my opinion, that’s the cause of all Egypt’s problems today.

  • Reform

    Egypt is addicted to Saudi’s drugs, and has been for decades. It’s time for serious rehab to wean itself off all forms of Wahhabi poisons:
    a) distorted sect masquerading as a religion paralyzing transformation to modernity
    b) Tens of billions of dollars wasted on corrupt army and state institutions
    c) Political hand-cuffs turning Egypt into the Wahhabis’ b**ch
    Lets’ hope the title is true … “Is Egypt officially turning down its former pimp”

    • TM

      More like “Egypt looking for a new Sugar Daddy” if you ask me.

      • Reform

        If the morons who’ve been running it for the last 30 years had any clue on how to build an economy, Egypt wouldn’t have opted for a sugar daddy economic model!

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