Al-Sisi Reveals for the First Time the Presence of Egyptian Forces in Saudi Arabia

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi revealed the number of Egyptian forces operating outside the Egyptian territories, pointing out that Egypt is participating with elements of its naval forces in Bab AL-Mandab strait to secure navigation and the passage of ships to the Suez Canal, according to al-Wafd newspaper.

During the seven-hour meeting with the editors-in-chiefs of state-owned newspapers, al-Sisi said, “We have Air Force elements in Saudi Arabia, but we do not have any ground forces in any Arab country. All of our forces abroad work within the framework of the United Nations peacekeeping forces “.

Egypt’s air force has been participating in the Saudi-led military coalition against Houthi rebels in Yemen since the coalition was launched in March 2015, according to al-Ahram, a state-owned newspaper.

Regarding his relation with Gulf countries, al-Sisi said, “Our relationship with the Gulf states is solid and strong and cannot be reduced to financial support only.”

Since the military coup in 2013, Gulf states as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have backed al-Sisi regime with billions of dollars as a financial aid.

The Gulf countries were on the top countries that opposed the Arab Spring as it threatens their thrones. Accordingly, supporting the military coup in Egypt was crucial to eliminate the emergence of a successful role model in the Middle East Region region that would encourage their public to revolt against them.

Gulf states also offered non-cash support and promised to participate in Egypt’s infrastructure.

In the same context, the Egyptian parliament has recently approved an agreement with Saudi Arabia to connect the two countries’ electricity grids.

The agreement, which was signed in Cairo on 22 November last year, will be financed by a loan from the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development.

The parliamentary report on the deal stated that, “The fund will provide 30 million Kuwaiti dinars ($100m) in a loan to be used for implementing this landmark project, which will become a key hub in the Arab electricity grid.”

The two grids of Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be interconnected at a station in Egypt in the city of Badr and two other stations in Saudi Arabia in the cities of Medina and Tabuk.

The report said, “These three stations will be linked via aerial lines and naval cables in the Gulf of Aqaba and will help interconnect the two electricity grids of the two countries and boost their total power-generation capacity to more than 90,000 megawatts,” adding that “they will represent the two biggest electricity grids in the Arab world.”

Moreover, the UAE has recently renewed its support to al-Sisi regime by agreeing to pour Egypt’s central bank with a $1bn deposit for a duration of six years. Emirates News Agency said that the agreement was signed by the director general of Abu-Dhabi development fund and the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). In April, the UAE allocated $4bn to support Egypt -$2bn in investment and another $2bn to be deposited in the central bank for supporting foreign exchange reserves.