Saturday, February 24, 2018

Tag: Sisi

Egypt’s Unlikely Ardor for Trump: Why Cairo Welcomes His Presidency

More than three weeks after the election, the American public remains divided over Donald Trump's surprise victory. Six thousand miles away, however, one U.S. ally has demonstrated a far more unified response. Egyptians, particularly those of a pro-government bent, are among the world’s happiest people about the Trump win. That...

Egypt’s Sisi defends tough but unavoidable economic reforms ahead of IMF loan

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has defended what he described as "tough but unavoidable" reforms ahead of a $12bn International Monetary Fund loan to revive his country's ailing economy. "The reforms are tough but they're unavoidable to save the economic situation," Sisi said in an interview published on Saturday by...

U.S. Finds Itself on Shakier Ground as Erdogan Confronts Mutiny

WASHINGTON — With all the crises in the Middle East, the Obama administration took solace in the fact that there was one reliable, democratically elected strongman — a stalwart member of NATO — that Washington could depend on: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. No matter how the coup attempt...

Tunisia’s Getting More Guns Than Democracy

As Washington earmarks nearly $100 million for military aid to Tunis, arms manufacturers sense a new gold rush. But it may come at the cost of the country's fragile democracy. In the early morning hours of March 7, dozens of Islamic State fighters appeared in the center of Ben Guerdane,...

Jordan pivots to Saudi Arabia

Jordan's pivot to Saudi Arabia, specifically over the latter’s hard-line stand on Iran and its alleged interference in Arab countries’ affairs, took a major leap forward following the visit April 10 by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, where he met with King Abdullah in the port city...

Red Sea bridge project resurfaces

CAIRO — Egypt and Saudi Arabia have agreed to build a controversial bridge spanning the Red Sea that proponents say could lead Egypt out of its economic crisis. Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced April 9 they will build a bridge that...

Is Israel forming an alliance with Egypt and Saudi Arabia?

Egypt's April 9 announcement of the transfer of two islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabian sovereignty came as a complete surprise to many in the Middle East. The only country that was not surprised was Israel. A top-level official in Jerusalem told Al-Monitor on April 12 that Israel had been privy to the secret negotiations. Israel...

How two Red Sea islands shed light on secret relations between Israel and Saudi...

JERUSALEM – The announcement that Egypt transferred two small Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabian sovereignty drew protests from Egyptians this week, but in Israel it quietly shed light on the Jewish state’s secret and selective dealings with Saudi Arabia. The two countries have no formal ties, but there have been...

Egypt relinquishes control of strategic islands

Saudi Arabia and Egypt demarcate maritime boundary, officially putting islands in the Straits of Tiran under Saudi control; implications for Israel-Egypt relations and Israeli shipping still unclear. According to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabaa, the Egyptian cabinet announced an agreement with Saudi Arabia on Saturday, delineating the maritime boundaries between...

Africa’s $700 Billion Problem Waiting to Happen

The Horn of Africa region is central to the world’s maritime trade. It’s also beginning to fall apart. Back in 2002, Meles Zenawi, then prime minister of Ethiopia, drafted a foreign policy and national security white paper for his country. Before finalizing it, he confided to me a “nightmare scenario”...

International Libya force readied as dozens killed in Tunisia

Italian government working on plan to send 5,000-strong force into Libya, as 53 killed in clashes across border. A 5,000-strong, Italian-led international force is ready to deploy in Libya as concern grows over the threat from extremist groups operating in the country, with dozens killed in clashes in neighbouring Tunisia...

Israel’s Defense Minister Exposes Israel’s Divide-And-Conquer Regional Strategy

In addition to blowing the cover on Israel’s secret dealings with the Gulf states to target Iran, the defense minister expressed Israel’s hope that Syria might be divided up into ethnic enclaves, each ruled by mini-warlords. SEATTLE (ANALYSIS) - Israel’s defense minister spoke with uncharacteristic bluntness recently as he outlined...

Saudi Arabia turns to Turkey

Saudi Arabia and Turkey have agreed to form a Strategic Cooperation Council to coordinate and develop relations between the countries in terms of economic, political, defense, security, education and health issues. The countries also are discussing military cooperation, especially with regard to Syria. The custodian of the two holy mosques, Saudi King Salman bin...

Egypt’s New Radicalism

The Muslim Brotherhood and Jihad. On a cold night in January, two young Cairene men stormed the Bella Vista hotel in the resort town of Hurghada, in Egypt. They were looking for Russians to kill or kidnap in the name of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). One attacker drew out a knife and...

Egypt’s General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is losing his wealthy friends in the Gulf

Much has been written about the merits of Egypt's president Abdul Fattah el-Sisi's strong-arm policies inside the country. It's safe to assume that these policies have not been a roaring success. In fact, under Sisi's leadership over the past two and a half years Egypt has struggled on every...

The Return of Egypt’s Military Interest Groups

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi amended the powers of the Armed Forces Land Projects Agency, which was set up by presidential decree in 1981 to manage the sale of real estate no longer in use by the armed forces. The latest amendment now additionally empowers the agency to engage...
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Ceasefire in Yemen Faces Collapse as U.S. Continues Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia, Fueling...

United Nations-brokered peace talks in Yemen's nine-month-old civil war are faltering, amid disputes between rival factions over the release of prisoners. Meanwhile, local officials have reported intensifying clashes and renewed airstrikes despite an ongoing ceasefire. Over the weekend, U.S.-backed, Saudi-led airstrikes killed 19 Yemeni civilians in their homes and...

UAE told UK: crack down on Muslim Brotherhood or lose arms deals

Files reveal plans for crown prince to demand David Cameron act against Islamist group in return for BAE Systems and BP deals. The United Arab Emirates threatened to block billion-pound arms deals with the UK, stop inward investment and cut intelligence cooperation if David Cameron did not act against the...
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Secret Tapes of the 2013 Egypt Coup Plot Pose a Problem for Obama

Ever since the overthrow of Egypt’s elected president, the U.S. administration has tried to avoid the word “coup.” Hard to do that now, but it’s still trying. Pity the poor dictators! What’s a dedicated bunch of military plotters to do when they learn the elected leader they overthrew may have...

Seduced by a Strongman?

Cairo is coming unhinged. From razing a buffer zone between the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, to criminalizing membership in the Muslim Brotherhood, to using lethal force against activists who violate the country's protest law, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has crafted an internal security strategy heavy on...

Did Money Seal Israeli-Saudi Alliance?

For more than half a century, Saudi Arabia has tried to use its vast oil wealth to build a lobby in the United States that could rival the imposing Israel Lobby. At top dollar, the Saudis hired law firms and PR specialists – and exploited personal connections to powerful...

Twelve Years Later, We Know the Winner in Iraq: Iran

Think of it as the American half-century in the Middle East: from August 17, 1953, when a CIA oil coup brought down democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed the Shah as Washington’s man in Tehran, to May 1, 2003, when George W. Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln off...

Saudi Arabia, Turkey Discussing Unlikely Alliance To Oust Syria’s Assad

WASHINGTON -- Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two nations with a long history of rivalry, are in high-level talks with the goal of forming a military alliance to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to sources familiar with the discussions. The talks are being brokered by Qatar. As the partnership is...

Arab Nations to Form Military Force to Counter Iran and Islamist Extremists

CAIRO — The Arab states said on Sunday that they had agreed to form a combined military force to counter both Iranian influence and Islamist extremism, a gesture many analysts attributed in large part to their drive for more independence from Washington. The agreement came as American and other Western...

The Battle for Iraq Is a Saudi War on Iran

Why the ISIS invasion of Iraq is really a war between Shiites and Sunnis for control of the Middle East. "Be careful what you wish for" could have been, and perhaps should have been, Washington’s advice to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that have been supporting Sunni jihadists against...

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