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Monday, 20 February 2017

Egypt as a key element in Trump, Putin ME strategy

The international press had been focusing since the weekend on Egypt’s place in the geopolitical machinations of Trump’s America and Putin’s Russia. The Financial Times takes the view that Trump’s stated wider regional agreement is to create some form of regional alliance made up mostly of Sunni states and Israel to counter Iranian incursions in the region. That would take advantage the warming (behind-closed-doors) of Arab-Israeli ties, according to New York Times. Russia’s state-owned Sputnik goes so far as to call this a NATO-like military alliance. Central to that would be a Palestinian-Israeli accord, with talk that this may include a statelet in parts of Sinai still being discussed in the press. The Financial Times thinks that a 15-year-old Arab League proposal would be the best chance for Trump to achieve this, but the Jerusalem Post sees an aversion to normalizing relations with Israel in the Egyptian street as an obstacle to this alliance. As for Russia, Egypt is a crucial element in Putin’s goal to basically bring the Middle East back to the old Soviet sphere of influence, writes Mathew Brodner for Defense News, citing Egypt’s over USD 1 bn arms purchases from Russia.

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