British writer David Hearst says that because of the normalization agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, Egypt is facing two types of disasters: future and current, affecting its political position in the region and its financial position.
. Hearst in his article According to the Middle East Eye website, the Suez Canal – an important financial source for Egypt – will be partially replaced by cheaper alternatives to transport oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, by means of transport pipelines that connect the Israeli ports of Eilat and Ashkelon.
Its role in the region
He adds that with the normalization agreement, Cairo will lose the role it had enjoyed for decades of mediating relations between the Arab countries and Israel, and the so-called Palestinian card in which Egypt was the reference for all Palestinian factions – in terms of arranging a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Or, reconciliation meetings between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo, and elsewhere – have shifted from Cairo to Ankara.
Hearst attributed to “Al-Shorouk News” commentator Muhammad Esmat, as saying that Egypt’s loss goes further, as “the entire Arab national security system, with all its military, political and economic dimensions, will be completely dismantled. All the Arab world’s discourses on freedom, unity and independent development will stop.” It is forgotten, and Israel aspires to replace Egypt in leading the Arab region. There are new equations that eliminate all institutions of joint Arab action, on top of which is the Arab League itself. “
In addition to its position in the region, Hearst says that Egypt is losing hard money, as Saudi Arabia and the UAE have stopped pumping billions of dollars to Sisi’s military dictatorship.
Saudi Arabia has stopped money and oil from Egypt due to the balance of payments crisis in Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed has found other, more attractive targets to play with his country’s money after the era of pouring money into the endless pockets of Sisi’s ended.
Change the game by region
Hearst notes that the shift of Emirati investment from Egypt to Israel is a game changer in the region and for some businessmen in Cairo.
He cites an example of businessmen affected by the Emirati shift away from Egypt, noting, for example, that Salah Diab, founder of the newspaper “Al-Masry Al-Youm” – who was previously arrested for alleged violations of companies he owns, and was released after the quick intervention of his nephew, the Emirati ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, The process of releasing him stalled this time.
Hearst continues, saying that Diab is in prison now, and General Ahmed Shafiq, who tried to compete with Sisi in previous presidential elections, is facing a revitalized legal case, in contrast to an agreement concluded by Egypt with the Emirates to which Shafiq fled when former President Mohamed Morsi took power in 2012.
Sisi targets the UAE
He says that the Egyptian politicians exiled outside Egypt, who closely monitor the battles inside the homeland, do not suspect that the legal problems that Diab and Shafik are facing are targeting the UAE.
The leader of the Revolution Ghad Party, Ayman Nour – a former presidential candidate – is attributed to saying that Diab’s arrest reflects the state of disagreement between Egypt and the UAE after normalization with Israel.
He also said that the Middle East Eye website learned that another Emirati businessman, who was trying to establish a media company in Cairo, was arrested by the Egyptian authorities, and he was only released after the personal intervention of Tahnoun bin Zayed, brother of Mohammed bin Zayed.
And about the impact of losing Gulf billions on Sisi, the writer said that Sisi resorted to the International Monetary Fund and imposed harsh austerity, and shaken his richest businessmen, to the extent that he had no other choice but to impose taxes on his already exhausted citizens, demolish their homes and force them to pay exorbitant fees. To the government, the national debt of Egypt has nearly tripled since 2014, from about $ 112 billion to about $ 321 billion.
Large peaceful protests in Egypt
He added that the financial difficulties of the Sisi regime led to an economic downturn, the impact of which had ceased construction work, as many workers were forced to stay at home.
Public transportation has also become more difficult to access. In trains – the most used means of transportation between Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, for example – passengers witnessed a significant increase in the prices of freight transportation.
He commented that Egyptians simply could not bear more, and it was no wonder that Egyptian villages and towns are currently witnessing an unprecedented series of peaceful anti-government protests.
Hearst concluded his article that Sisi’s brutal, cruel and destructive military regime was set up by the Emirati and Saudi royal families, as Sisi would not have defected and betrayed the late elected former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who chose him as defense minister, had it not been for the money promised to him by Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.