Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Arab Security

April 11, 2016 Both countries are weakening, as instability grows throughout the Middle East.

Briefing

|April 11, 2016

By Kamran Bokhari

Summary Saudi Arabia is the only major Arab power in the Middle East, but alone it cannot manage the regional chaos. It needs Egypt’s help, but Egypt is dependent on the kingdom to manage its domestic political economy. With their weakening financial position, the Saudis will struggle to keep the Egyptians afloat. Riyadh’s plans to partner with Cairo to deal with collective Arab security needs are unlikely to bear fruit.
 
Saudi Arabia’s monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, is concluding a rare five-day visit to Egypt today. During the trip, the two countries have announced a number of agreements and investment deals worth $20 billion. These include the construction of a bridge over the Red Sea connecting the two countries, Cairo handing over two strategic islands in the Red Sea to Riyadh and the Saudis pledging $16 billion in an investment fund for Egypt with a specific focus on developing the insurgency-wracked Sinai Peninsula. For Saudi Arabia, the goal

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