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Divergent goals will rock Saudi-Egyptian relations

Monday, November 7, 2016

Significance

The oil shipments were part of a five-year deal that Saudi would provide Egypt with 700,000 tonnes of refined oil products per month, but these were stopped in early October amid a row over Egypt's position towards Syria. Relations between Saudi Arabia and Egypt have served as a bedrock of stability in the Middle East for much of the period since the second Gulf War (1990-91), but this subset of the regional order now appears in jeopardy.

Impacts

  • If Riyadh withholds investments or future assistance, the Egyptian economy may deteriorate even further.
  • Should Egypt's economic crisis deepen, its political stability outlook would look uncertain at best and unsustainable at worst.
  • This crisis compounds the Kingdom's recent regional setbacks, as the Syrian and Yemeni wars slide towards unfavourable outcomes for Riyadh.
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