Egyptian sources close to Lieutenant General Sami Annan unveiled that “prominent Saudi circles have recently renewed their communications with Anan” in the light of the recent Egyptian Saudi crisis, according to Arabi al-Jadeed.
It is noteworthy that Sami Anan was the former Chief of the General Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces and the vice-chairman of the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (ESCAF) that ruled Egypt during the transitional period that followed the 25 January Revolution in 2011.
In 2014, Anan declared his intention to run for Egypt’s presidential elections before he later announced his withdrawal because of pressure that was practiced on him by some state agencies and the chairman of the (ESCAF) Field Marshall Hussein Tanatawi, forcing him to walk out from the electoral race for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s benefit.
Some sources said that, “Some Saudi circles started to move for supporting a candidate in the Egyptian presidential elections in 2018 after Al-Sisi completes his term, stressing that, “This comes in the light of the crisis of the Saudi-Egyptian relations after Egypt voted in favor of the Russian resolution in the security council regarding the military operations in Aleppo, Syria – which contradicts the Saudi stance that supports the military opposition against Bashar al-Assad.”
The sources said,” Anan’s name has recently been repeated after the controversial statement released by the presidential candidate, Ahmed Shafiq, that opened the door for his participation in the coming elections, when he said that it is “too early”. Ahmed Shafiq lost the presidential elections against Mohamed Morsi in 2012.
The sources also said that, “the Saudi circles perceive Anan as a conciliatory candidate due to his previous military background which will not raise the dissent of the military institution. In addition, he enjoys good relations with political and partisan circles, due to his former role as a vice-chairman of ESCAF, where he was responsible for organizing meetings with the Egyptian parties.”
It is noteworthy that Anan enjoys a great acceptance among a vast sector of the Islamic political forces. In this context, some sources in the Al-Gamaa Al-Isalmiyya (Islamic Group) stated that Islamic movement had communicated with Sami Anan when he announced his intention to run for the previous presidential elections, and they did not oppose his candidacy. The sources stressed that the current situation is in an urgent need for changing the head of the regime – referring to al-Sisi- in order to create a social reconciliation. The sources also pointed that “When Anan communicated with us at that time, he asked us to mediate between him and other Islamic factions who support the constitutional legitimacy. However, the sources said most of the Islamists did not have any counter stance toward the former Chief of the General Staff.”