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20:47, 06 July 2013 Saturday

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Gulf coalition in Egypt: S. Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE
Gulf coalition in Egypt: S. Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE

These Gulf countries try to prevent the liberating waves of the Arab uprisings from reaching their shores, while endeavoring to secure the continuation of the state of chaos in countries where uprisings have occurred.

Emrah Usta - World Bulletin

The campaign begun against Muhammad Morsi in Egypt has gained acumen in an interesting way as the head of the Egyptian army Abdulfettah Al-Sisi has seized the Morsi administration. Afterwards the conspiring centers joined to form an unforeseen alliance against the Muslim Brotherhood. The developments in the region resulting in the events in Egypt, which the United States and Europe could not even refer to as a coup, revealed that Tahrir had turned from a square for freedom to one for coups. Setting aside the silence of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Jordan, Syria, the US, EU and United Arab Emirates (UAE) regarding the coup, these nations even partially or fully accepted the allegations of those participating in celebrations of the coup in Tahrir Square.

The fact that King Abdullah congratulated the Egyptian military and General Sisi and Saudi Arabia went into history as the first country to congratulate Adly Mansour for his appointment as Interim President has caused deep concern among the world’s Muslim community. Then, the UAE followed suit. The support given to the coup by Saudi Arabia and the UAE can be interpreted as a usurpation of the right to representation and elections which they do not allow their own people. The governments of these two countries are even concerned that relatively prosperous members of society will express their demands for political participation. They try to prevent the liberating waves of the Arab uprisings from reaching their shores, while endeavoring to secure the continuation of the state of chaos in countries where uprisings have occurred. In a way, the maintenance of their own systems requires chaos in Egypt. Al-Arabiya, which belongs to the Saudis, reported that Abdulfettah Al Sisi—who has become the chief of the Egyptian coup— briefed the Saudi king over the phone regarding developments. He briefed Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nuhayyan of the UAE as well. The allegation that Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Prize winner who has assumed the same stance as those promoting the coup, has fled to Saudi Arabia, the claim that is of the utmost importance.

It is worth noting that the camp supportive of the military coup in Egypt harbors factions within itself.  Given that it deems the continuation of the Camp David Accords as necessary for its security, Israel does not want so-called Islamist governments to come into power in the region. The fact that Iran- and Hezbollah-allied Assad supports the coup since its thwarts the development of “political Islam” causes it to rest on a different foundation than that of its allies.

It was indicated above that the regimes in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are concerned about the continuation of the status quo in their countries. Therefore, they support a number of social and political formations in the region so as to create a domain of influence. In this context, the fact that Salafis—particularly those affiliated with the Nour party— sided with the Egyptian army against the Morsi administration further clarifies the Picture before us. In short, just as the role of the UAE and Saudi Arabia enables tremors along the existing fault lines in Egypt, it also recognizes an opportunity for the resuscitation of the ruins of the old Mubarak regime.

When we look at the incidents in the context of the UAE, two factors must not be neglected. Firstly, the UAE has arrested more than 80 people accused of being Muslim Brotherhood members and is trying them on charges of attempting a coup. Secondly, Morsi-rival Ahmed Shafik, a minister during the Mubarak era who shortly served as Prime Minister after Mubarak’s overthrown and ran in the second round of presidential elections, served as a consultant to the UAE President. Setting aside the UAE’s anti-Brotherhood stance, it is apparent the UAE has an interest in the continuation of the status quo of Old Egypt. The fact that remnants of the old Mubarak regime hold important places in the opposition seeking to overthrow Morsi makes them a party to the continuation of the old order in Egypt. This explains why millions of dollars flow from the oil-rich UAE to the Egyptian opposition. In addition to serving as Prime Minister of Egypt for 2 months in 2011, Ahmed Shafik also served as a former Mubarak-era air force commander and as minister in the Egyptian government. The fact that the UAE, which has very close relations with the old order in Egypt and remains in the shadow of Saudi Arabia, is being an agent in Egypt leads us to the reality that there is a network of international cooperation focused on Egypt. Meantime, it inevitably comes to mind that the president assigned by Egypt’s new coup regime, Adly Mansour, served for 8 years as a consultant in a Saudi ministry.

Kuwait’s congratulation of Adly Mansour being appointed Interim President following the coup in Egypt demonstrates the intensification of opposition toward the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf. Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah’s wishing Mansour success in Egypt overcoming these difficult challenges was also surprising. This attitude indicates that Kuwait, leading up to elections, will assume a stance in accordance with that of Bahrain and the UAE. Meanwhile Bahrain also provided the coup government with a blank check by praising the positive historic role played by the Egyptian military under the leadership of Abdulfettah Al Sisi and by urging the expansion of brotherly relations between the two countries.

On the other hand, Qatar has been the country which has assumed a relatively divergent stance on the Egyptian issue. While Qatar hesitated to take too firm a side at the beginning of events in Egypt, it began to voice concern when it reached a point where Morsi could be ousted. Being taking into consideration regional politics and the economic assistance it previously provided Egypt, Qatar chose to stand by Tunisia and Turkey. Another factor leading it to this decision was the UAE’s strong antipathy toward Morsi in Egypt. The antagonism between the UAE and Qatar forced Qatar to stand with a third side, that of "all the peoples of Egypt." Qatar, which congratulated Adly Mansour, demonstrated that it was following a practical diplomacy in the region. By emphasizing the Egyptian people, the young Emir of Qatar Tamim showed that his focal point would be neither Morsi nor the new junta, but the 'Egyptian people.' Al Jazeera, whose Cairo office was attacked, will inevitably play an important role in rallies supportive of Morsi in the future.



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