Espanol / English

Middle East Near You

Saudi distances itself from Egypt, halts investment projects

Egypt's President Al-Sisi with Saudi's King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud [file photo]
Egypt's President Al-Sisi with Saudi's King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud [file photo]

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Egypt are beginning to strain as a result of the Egyptian regime’s lack of support for the kingdom’s foreign policy.

After President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi came to power through a coup on 3 July 2013, the Saudi regime, along with a number of other GCC rallied support for the coup. Since then, the Gulf monarchies have pledged billions to keep Sisi’s regime afloat, by funding its government, providing aid for economic relief and to support Egypt’s military, which is notorious for human rights abuses. Investment projects in Egypt by the Gulf Arab states quickly became a norm.

In return, the Gulf states expected Sisi’s regime to give them backing both regionally and on the international platform. One of the main tests for this was the Egyptian reaction to the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen.

While the Egyptian government reiterates its full support for Saudi Arabia, its military support was not as great as it expected. While Saudi’s role in the campaign is primarily conducting airstrikes, though they provided ground training for tribes and local resistance forces, they were relying on countries that have joined the coalition to supplement ground forces against Houthi and Saleh militias.

Egypt’s contribution has provided limited naval and air support to the coalition, with around 800 soldiers being present to guard the Red Sea and Bab El-Mandab strait. This area has been free from the Houthi rebels since mid-July 2015.

In recent days, Egypt has revealed its policy on Syria conflicts with Saudi Arabia’s. Sisi’s regime advocates a political process that includes current President Bashar Al Assad, while Riyadh is bitterly against the Assad regime and the Iranian and Russian interventions that followed.

This weekend, Egypt voted for a Russian draft resolution in the UN Security Council which called for relief in Syria. This angered a number of Saudi officials and has led to the Saudi Arabian oil co-operation ARAMCO to suspending oil sales to Egypt.

Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar has also reported that Saudi may start cutting aid to Egypt. In an interview, an anonymous Egyptian diplomat said ARAMCO’s move was not a surprise and confirmed that Saudi Arabia has indeed suspended investment projects in Egypt, without giving further details.

AfricaEgyptMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaYemen
  • Ann Carpenter

    If Saudi Arabia wanted to show solidarity with 9-11 victims and their families, why doesn’t it act more strongly to execute or imprison: every last living member of the bin Laden family; every Taliban leader or official, down to the last little party secretary (for Taliban is in essence nothing more than a Soviet – like or gang-like, party regime); and every last living ISIS adult, male or female… and especially every last living ISIS mercenary or foreign recruit, especially those from Syria? If Saudi wants to prove that it had no real 9-11 affiliation or sponsorship (which I think is a reasonable assumption), that is one thing. But if Saudi wants to prove that it was not criminally negligent, or tolerant of the individuals and forces which led to or participated in 9-11 … OR that it had even, foreknowledge of the event or pre-event warnings or intelligence that it either ignored or failed to share with the US … that is more difficult. Isn’t it? Because.. surely ANY regime ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD that does not fully and immediately and aggressively alert a targeted venue of impending danger or disaster .. is as guilty as those perpetrating the offense, isn’t it? (Under International Law & Treaty?) Suppose President Obama were found to have had knowledge or early warning of the Paris attacks, for ex…. he would be guilty of a death penalty offense. Wouldn’t he? Wouldn’t it have been unconscionable of the US Oval Office to LET Paris families be slaughtered? And, if an honest mistake had been made, in terms of intelligence warnings overlooked by the FBI – here in Virginia, or the DC Capitol Region; or perhaps Quantico, JTTF or Ft Meade, NSA – wouldn’t it have been the height of immorality or cowardice, for the President NOT to have come forward and admit such negligence or error to France and to the world? All this Sept. 11 case is doing, is exactly the same thing. Who had knowledge, or reasonable belief; who tolerated people or forces or actions that contributed; and who did not intervene in a timely manner when they could have? That’s all this case is seeking to uncover … and perhaps this case will set a good precedent for other gobal investigations . like inquiries into the Paris bombings. Or lapses that led to the emergence of ISIL. Who knows?

    Is that not the message of the Prophet, Peace be Upon Him?
    I try to not let one day go by without turning in or harming to the best of my ability anyone evil who crosses my path.
    This will not bring my child back. But it will help other children.
    Evil people do not have a right to live. In my opinion. If they do not harm me, they will harm or slaughter another good person.
    Do we not see that with IS? We do not need more prisons. Or Gitmos.
    We need more weapons and more determination to be always on the right side.
    Why do you let Pakistan harbor enemies? Why do you not slay them to the last one?
    Why do you let Taliban live?
    At least, finally, you are starting to harm Egypt.
    Why do you not trap every last male alive THERE, so that they die, and cannot poison the rest of the world?
    We – the world outside the ME – cannot monitor what goes on as well as you can, right there.
    WHY did you let ISIL get going in the first place?
    Does not Mecca instill and compel an added burden of responsibility ?

    These are not US legal questions. These are moral questions.
    But if you always act with moral intent, God will not burden you with legal intent. We do not need legal answers. We desire moral answers. There is no correlation between the two.

  • Ann Carpenter

    And PS: Why don’t you also ask – in court I guess – why the Carlyle Group of NYC, the world’s largest investment brokerage and parent of Booz Allen Hamilton – is not being named along with Saudi Arabia, for lawsuit? Because it has been arm and arm with bin Laden for some time. Or … why don’t you ask why Berkshire Hathaway’s first action following Sept 11, within days, was not to aid the victims but to quickly protect the Buffet empire by effecting a limitation on policy awards? And that also was linked to Carlyle. If Saudi Arabia is going to be pursued for “negligence” or “material support” for terrorist acts .. and yet here in the US Carlyle was funneling billions into the bin Laden family (and Saudi bank accounts) – whilst Booz Allen of Mclean VA, it’s child, was engaging in classified US federal government business – and Berkshire, one of the world’s largest insurance conglomerates, acted in cold-hearted manner to limit its own losses by refusing to allow victim coverage; and there still remain questions about whether one impact was truly enough to bring down the entire building …or even, why the alleged official explanations for choice of flights do not really hold up to close scrutiny (both of these two latter questions, glossed over) .. why are these other global entities based here in the US not also sued? Why are these other questions, also not pursued? Now is another chance to have a more thorough inquiry into Obama and his influence and limitations – always, always, limitations & obstruction from this president – on any Sept. 11 inquiry. Or Carlyle inquiry.

    Because again, the real goal is a moral one: is anyone still left free and living, who should not be?
    In any country?