Ahmadinejad in Egypt: Not the Start of a Beautiful Friendship

(Ha'aretz) Zvi Bar'el - The Muslim Brotherhood's homepage on Wednesday played up the phone conversation between U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, quoting Sissi's promise to act decisively to keep Sinai from becoming a threat to Israel. Panetta's promise of continued American military cooperation with Cairo, including aid for military procurement, came as the Iranian president was trying to win the hearts of the Brotherhood and of ordinary Egyptians. During his visit to the country, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad even promised to defend Egypt and Saudi Arabia against any attack. Egypt's resistance to a closer relationship with Iran is not only a reaction to American pressure or to threatening noises from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, both of which have given Cairo massive financial aid, amounting to $7 billion. Morsi's Egypt, like that of his predecessor, sees itself as a leader of the Arab world. Iran is seen as an enemy of Saudi Arabia, as aggravating the Shi'ite rebellion in Bahrain, as having forced its patronage on Iraq and, above all, as conducting a controversial policy in Syria. Egypt cannot and does not want to embrace "the Arabs' enemies."

2013-02-08 00:00:00

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