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Sunday, November 22

Uh oh. Al Saud, UAE hopping mad at Egypt for publicly criticizing Saudi government

Gee, the Gulfies have been short-tempered recently. Consider: 

There was the very public threat from Al Saud to the British government and the British at large to, well, shut up about the Saudi human rights record if they knew what was good for them. 

Then there was the very public threat from Qatar to send their own military forces to fight Syria's army instead of just continuing to fund terrorist groups to fight them.  

And there was the very public spat between the Egyptian press on one side and the Saudi Ambassador to Egypt and Saudi press on the other. The ball got rolling when an Egyptian TV anchor "accused Saudi Arabia of funding terrorist groups in Syria, called on Sisi to stop being a captive to Riyadh, and urged Egypt to be liberated from the relationship of gratitude to Saudi Arabia." 

To add insult to injury others in the Egyptian press lambasted Saudi military attacks in Yemen. 

"Egypt does not have anything to do with the destruction of schools, hospitals, civilian airports or cultural landmarks," snapped Ahmed El-Sayed El-Naggar, the chairman of Egypt's state-owned al-Ahram media group.

Then the Saudis poked fun at Egyptian TV. Things went on like that with el-Naggar getting in the last word for the moment when he told the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, paraphrasing here: No YOU shut up because Egypt is older than you. 

(Exact quote: Al-Ahram "or even a building in central Cairo" is older than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.)

All I can say is I hope the Saudi Ambassador to Germany didn't read Deutsche Welle yesterday or there's going to be another flap. 

(The lede intones, "Brussels' largest mosque is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, a Salafist regime. Mosque leaders have dissociated themselves from terrorism -- but are not revealing everything.")

But onto the big news:

EXCLUSIVE: The Emirati plan for ruling Egypt

The Middle East Eye got hold of a 'secret' document showing the ruler of the United Arab Emirates is seriously ticked off at Egypt's President Sisi. This is partly because Egypt's government seems to have mistaken UAE for the USA, and partly because the Emiratis are furious that Egyptians are being mean to the Saudi government.

From David Hearst's report yesterday for MEE:
A top-secret strategy document prepared for Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan reveals that the United Arab Emirates is losing faith in the ability of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to serve the Gulf state’s interests.
The document, prepared by one of Bin Zayed’s team and dated 12 October, contains two key quotes which describe the frustration bin Zayed feels about Sisi, whose military coup the Crown Prince bankrolled, pouring in billions of dollars along with Saudi Arabia. 
It says: “This guy needs to know that I am not an ATM machine.” 
Further on, it also reveals the political price the Emiratis will exact if they continue to fund Egypt.
Future strategy should be based on not just attempting to influence the government in Egypt but to control it. It is summarised thus: “Now I will give but under my conditions. If I give, I rule.”
It's a long report but chock full of juicy gossip and interesting factoids. 


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