This is exactly what we have said five years ago, yet at the time nobody was listening. KSA tried its utmost to perish the two consecutive [Egyptian] revolutions of 25th January and 30th of June for two reasons.
The first is the great fear from the mobility of the revolutions to GCC states as they are monarchy regimes. Therefore, they were the first to offer receiving the ousted president Hosni Mubarak, in addition to offering big support to Muslim Brotherhood and their affiliates [the Wahhabis] in Egypt.
The second reason was to carry out American and Zionist agendas in the Arab world, as the West fears that other leaders like Mohamed Ali Pasha or Jamal Abdel Nasser may pop up who would stop their agendas again.
We think some GCC states, namely KSA and UAE, tried to push Egypt to the edge, based on a very fragile allegation that KSA, or let us say Gulf-backed Egypt after June 30th through the empty speeches of the former Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal in Paris [as some of the KSA media puppets in Egypt tried to highlight this issue over and over again], that “KSA is a red line” and the alliance with KSA is historical and strategic – all of which is – nonsense.
This matter has, unfortunately, put all of us, including president El-Sisi under big pressure, as we have about 2 million of our citizens working in KSA [as if KSA employed them without any proper qualifications to cover their deficit in labor market].
Also, some of our media people forgot our role in the Arab world, and that Egypt even before the establishment of the United Nations had established the Arab League. Not only that, but also that Egypt backed and supported all the Arab states under colonization to be liberated and freed from colonizers as we had supported all the revolutions, not only in the Arab region but also in Africa, and then in the whole [global] South.
I personally do remember according to the videos we watched recently how much of a pain the Non Aligned Movement led by Egypt was for the West, especially in the UN General Assembly annual meetings.
And, as our Former President Anwar Sadat said, in one of his well-known speeches [a video of which the Gulf tried to erase from YouTube] that :
“Egypt backed GCC a lot. We were sending our teachers to teach GCC for free with notebooks, pencils, pens and fully paid salary, when GCC had nothing to give us”.
And I do not want to mention the other words said by Sadat, because it was very sarcastic and painful, as they were in a situation similar to our case nowadays.
The main problem is that the GCC states, excluding Oman, want us to be fully submitted to their will, even in the matter of our relations with the other countries, and with a very emotional situation expressing their weak diplomacy saying it’s you either “be with us or against us“.
For example they wanted us to resume our relations with Turkey despite Turkish regime’s hatred to Arabs, and despite Turkey’s being one of the main sponsors for extremism and terrorism.
Also, they want to limit our relations with Russia despite Russian support for us on June 30th in Egypt. It was not KSA which supported us then.
Russia had already classified [Muslim] Brotherhood as a terrorist group for the role they played in Russia, especially in their war with Chechnya, as well as approaching Muslim youth from the former Russian Islamic Republics, under the allegation of Jihad in Iraq, Syria and Libya. This matter was stated recently in Grozny by the Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadirov, during the Islamic conference held there last month.
Also Russia was supporting and cooperating with Egypt in the field of tourism, as the Russian tourists top the list of tourist arrivals to Egypt. This injects significant amount of money into our economy. Moreover, Russia gave us all the necessary weapons needed for deterrence, when the West was disregarding our requests directly after June 30th of 2013, in addition to several additional channels for strategic cooperation with the Russian side including the membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), in collaboration with China.
Of course the recent meeting between the Egyptian Foreign Minister Shukri with his Iranian counterpart Jawad Zarif in New York, on the sidelines of the 71st UNGA session was unexpected and unwanted issue for KSA, though it was also late for a couple of years since El-Sisi had become the president of Egypt. Both Egypt and Iran are two important members of NAM.
Though KSA was urging Russia to push Iran in the backstage of the G20 to reduce its daily output of crude oil, as well as used Turkey as a middleman to restore at least 5 million of Iranian Pilgrims who used to visit KSA annually for pilgrimage and Umra, these attempts were in vain.
Though the volume of mutual trade between KSA and Iran has reached US$ 10 billion and about US$ 35 billion between Iran and the UAE, the KSA and UAE are jointly pushing Egypt over and over again not to resume normal relations with Iran, and having full diplomatic commission in Egypt as they have!
Furthermore, both KSA and the UAE wanted to send Egyptian army to fight the Houthis and interfere, in a manner violating the international law, in the other state’s internal affairs, the matter which is considered a war crime and an offensive act against other Arab countries, as if we had not yet learnt anything from what really happened in both Iraq and Libya.
Also, they wanted us to support fanatics and terrorists, who are so-called ‘moderate rebels/opposition’ in Syria against the official government, in a manner that weakens our strategy and defense in this region, and in a way that reflects that Egypt is a very small country and that the KSA is the only regional leader, despite no evidence of such leadership in this regard, except the leadership in spending corrupt political money on destruction. This shows how much they are afraid that Egypt may restore its previous role as the core of the Arab world.
Accordingly, KSA has stopped importing the Egyptian exports of fruits and vegetables two weeks earlier, as they are suddenly not proper for Saudi consumption. Furthermore, a couple of days ago they breached the 5-years’ oil and oil derivatives supply agreement with Egypt without any proper or legal notice in this regard, to sustain the practice of its improper pressure on our country, in order to yield to their indecent desires – the matter that necessitates dismissing the Saudi Ambassador Ahmed Al Qattan in Egypt, as well as closing the office of Al-Arabyia News in Egypt as happened with Al-Jazeera previously. All of which are justified measures by our government in this regard.
And from now on we are free to deal with any other country in the world, and the resuming of normal relations with Iran will follow very soon, because we have to keep our interests as the first priority, before thinking of any third party’s interests.
Finally, I just want to address some words to the Egyptian media, because our role as journalists is to raise and develop the awareness of the Egyptian people and not to distort this awareness because of money, and that includes the issues of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir.
Ahmed Moustafa: Political Economist – CODESRIA Member