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Egypt-Saudi tension bubbling over planned Djibouti base

Saudi plans to open a military base in the tiny Rea Sea state of Djibouti have raised concerns among Egyptian officials, as strained relations between Cairo and Riyadh show little sign of improving. The base, which will

Saudi plans to open a military base in the tiny Rea Sea state of Djibouti have raised concerns among Egyptian officials, as strained relations between Cairo and Riyadh show little sign of improving.

The base, which will reportedly be built “very soon”, would threaten national security, and the Egyptian government is “deeply suspicious”, according to a diplomatic source.

Djibouti is strategically located in the Horn of Africa across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen, where the Saudis have been waging war against Houthi rebels. A recent UK report suggested that Iran has been smuggling weapons to the rebels via the waterways surrounding Yemen.

“Cairo is totally against the deal because it considers Djibouti to be under the Egyptian sphere of influence and because its location is important for national security,” an Egyptian diplomatic source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The New Arab.

“This move goes against the generally accepted customs between Arab countries as the area has a direct influence on the passage of ships towards the Suez Canal.

“If Saudi Arabia wants to ensure that Iran does not take control of the area, that is understandable – however, this must take place with Egyptian oversight and permission.”

The Egyptian government was supported by billions of dollars in aid from Saudi Arabia in the immediate aftermath of the 2013 military coup against former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi, but ties appear to have frayed between the two countries amid disagreements over Syria.

Saudi Arabia backs rebels trying to oust Assad, while Egypt has expressed support for the Syrian leader.

Saudi Arabia suspended oil shipments to Egypt in October, a move announced after Cairo backed a Russian-drafted resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council.

This week, sources told The New Arab that Saudi Arabia would not mend ties with Egypt until Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri was sacked and two contested Red Sea islands were transferred to Saudi sovereignty.

Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said the deal to build the Saudi military base would happen “very soon”.

“The security, military and strategic draft of the accord is ready and the coastal areas that could host the base, be it military or naval, have been identified after Saudi military officers and officials explored some areas in the country.”

The New Arab

Review overview
  • Haqi December 10, 2016

    ብመንጽር ናይ ዝሓለፈ ናይ ሓሙሽተ ሚእቲ ዓመት ታሪኽን፣ እዋናዊ ኩነታት ቀርኒ ኣፍሪቃን፣ ኣስጋኢ ኩነታት እስላማዊ ኣሽባሪ ጂሃዳዊ ምንቅስቓሳት ኣብ ኣስላም ሃገራት፣ ትንኮሳን ድሑር እምነትን ፖለቲካን ወሃቢ ስዑዲ ዓረብን፣ ቀጻሊ ህልኽን ውድ ድርን ኣብ ሞንጎ ስዑድያን ኢራንን: ኣብ ግምት ብምእታው ወጥርን ግጭትን ከባቢና ድሕሪ ሕጂ ክዛይድ እምበር፣ ክንኪ ኣይክረኣይን እዩ።
    ኣብ ከምዚ ዓይነት ኩነታት ረብሓ ኤርትራ ከምኡውን ረብሓ ኢትዮጵያ ኣበይ እዩ? ዝብል ሕቶ እቲ ኣገዳሲ እዩ። ብወገነይ ረብሓ ኤርትራ ይኹን ኢትዮጵያ ካብ ክልቲኡ ካምቦታት ናጻ ክኸውን ይግባእ። ምኽንያቱ፣ ካብ ሓዲኡ ዝረኽበኦ ጠቅሚ ነባሪ ኣይኮነን። ካብ ዕንወትን ምፍርራስን ግብጽን ስዑድያን ዝርከብ ርግኣት ሰላምን ቅጻነትን ግና መወዳደርቲ የብሉን።

  • Haqi December 10, 2016

    Follow the link:

    Enslaved Eritrean women, Abused, pregnant and behind bars: former Islamic State’s slaves in Libyan prisons

  • AHMED SALEH !!! December 10, 2016

    Gulf states overpowered Egyptian government influence on regional politics . According the report they
    received Billions of dollars from Saudi Arabia , the government of Djibouti got his share and Ethiopian
    prime minister recent visit to Saudia got him a deal of millions in economic development investments ,
    African governments must learn how to demolish the culture of foreign aid dependency combined with
    uncertainty of top down approaches to serve for foreign donors agenda .
    Decades old financial assistance packages from western countries trapped our continent in a cycle of
    corruption , greed , violence and poverty . It has become permissible culture to become dependent
    upon great power institutions with no alternatives in place .
    At least Ethiopian government invested in higher education , infrastructures and other development
    projects which would benefit their long term economic progress .

  • adhanom December 10, 2016

    Egypt has lions share over everything in the horn of africa including nile river, lake tana, the entire red sea, massawa, asseb, djibuti, yemen eritrea, even lake victoria and countries surrounding thr lake. So they dhould have been asked for permission when djibuti wants to build a base with saudi. How dare can they do that.

  • adhanom December 10, 2016

    O boy…. Glad that ethiopians are building a dam that would decrease the flow of nile. Hope others will do the same so that egypt would not be swept away by heavy flood from kenya, uganda s. Sudan, tanzania, ruand and brundi. These countries should build dams to slow down the flow of nile which is endangering egypts existence.

  • k.tewolde December 11, 2016

    In this highly charged regional,military and diplomatic atmosphere,Eritrea would have been well positioned,if it had a sound,solid,capable,highly skilled,altruistic,transparent and democratically elected leadership.Practically,the sky is the limit.But with this junta in Asmara,the country might end up in the Strait of Hormuz.

  • Z, Hagos December 11, 2016

    The Arab Gulf countries used Egypt for sometime now. The civil wars in Syria and Yemen are reasons for the conflict between the Egypt and Saudi Arabia. For the first time ever the Egyptian government is standing on the side of the Arabs. The Arabs suffered a lot under politicized relationships driven by changing hands between the Saudis and Qataris. The game in play is that if Qatar is on your side, the Saudis go against. And, in the middle the grass suffers.
    The Ethiopian government should watch and open its eyes. The Saudis and Qataris have been trying to kill the Sanaa Forum through their agent Isayas. If the Ethiopian government stand against the Yemenis, no doubt it is standing against itself. Because the Sanaa Group that includes Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, the Eritrean opposition, Djibouti, Somalia and expectedly South Sudan and Kenya were supposedly to be led by the big power house of their union. Thus, taking the side of the Arab Gulf countries against Yemen is considered as going against own power house for Ethiopians, Sudanese, Somalis, Eritrean oppositions, Djiboutians, etc. To well play the game, the Egyptian should support the Sanaa Forum and not Isayas, who is the agent of the Saudis and Qataris.
    Proof: how come the Qataris and Saudis pay millions in bribes to save Isayas when he gets in trouble with the neighboring countries? The goal is to weaken the power house across the other side of the Red Sea under the Sanaa Forum. Ethiopia and Sudan should do their best to save the Sanaa Forum because that’s where they can build their power house to protect their interest. Otherwise, weak and divided Sanaa Forum is not good for the region. A call for the help of Egyptians in this regard is beneficial to both Egypt and Sanaa Forum members.

  • PH December 11, 2016

    I see the Arab region is in trouble. The horn of Africa countries are busy
    Selling theirs dignity too. Iran in the bully ring others joking in fire, I don’t know who uses the cannon of water!

    • Fanco December 11, 2016

      PH writes “… horn of Africa countries are busy Selling theirs dignity too.”

      Wasn’t the Arabists in the ELF/Jabha that hatched the chicken of ‘selling dignity’ by claiming Eritrea was an “Arab” or is it more Arab than the Arabs by burning the dignity of Eritrean language textbooks of Tigre-Tigrinya?

      • andom December 11, 2016

        Hatewketew. Kkkkki.

      • Zafu December 12, 2016

        Fanco, Tekhlay and so on
        Why are you always stabbing the tail of the Elephant while you clearly see the elephant itself ( the elegal son of Jabeli DIA) who is openly prostituting with the sovereignty of Eritrea.

  • Lula December 11, 2016

    The Arab Muslims had been exporting their ugly Islamist ideologies, bombs and encouraging to their many retard slaves and Abids to hate and burn their own languages and identity for decades after the discovery of the dirty oil (you may know what the Arabist Jebha did). This time the Arab Muslims are finishing each other with bombs and rockets that was intended to impose their own backward values and their language on poor nations such as Eritrea, South Sudan, Kurdistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Chad …

    • Zafu December 12, 2016

      Lula twin sister of Tekhlay
      We are struggling to dismantle their illegal son Isayas to protect our country from internal and external evils

  • Meretse Asmelash December 11, 2016

    ሰላም ንኹሉኹም ደለይቲ ፍትሒ
    “ሕማም ጎረቤት ተመሓላለፊ ኢዩ”
    እዚ ነዚ ሎሚ ኣብ ጎረባብቲ ሃገረ ኤረትራ (ሃገራት ኣዕራብ) ዝረኤ ዘሎ ህውከት ጽቡቕ ጌሩ ይገልጾ ኢዩ ዝብል እምንቶ ኣሎኒ። ኣብ ጎረቤትካ ሕማም እንተኣትዩ ፡ ብዝከኣለካ መጠን ትሕግዝ ብዝተረፈ ማዕጾ ኣይትከፍተሉን።
    ሎሚ ዝረኤን ዝስማዕን ዘሎ ግን መስደመም ኢዩ። ሃገርካ — ጥዕና ፣ ሰላም ፣ ጸጋ፣ … ክህልዋ ትትምነ እምበር ፡ ሃገርካ ንዓውዲ-ኹናት እንዳማትካ ድሕረ ግምባር ክትከውን ኣሕሊፍካ ምሃብ ናይ መጨረሻ ዕሽነት ኢዩ።
    ፍቅርን ሰላምን ናይ ኢሰያስ ዕድመአን ሓጺር ኢዩ ። ንሱ ብዝሰርሖ ስራሕ ድሕሪኡ ዝክተሎ መዛዝ ኣይግድሶን። ንሱ ፍጥር ካብ ዝብል ከምኡ’ዩ ለሚዱ። ትጋገ ኣሎኻ ትብል ቓል ካብ ማንም ሰብ ሰሚዕዋ ኣይፈልጥን።
    ማለት መቓልሕና ድምጽና ንረብሓ ሃገርና ዘምእከለ ዶ ይኸውን ኣሎ? ሓደ-ሓደ ግዜ ኣእዳውና ኣብ ዘይንርክቦ ጉዳይ ክመጣጠራ ንርኢ’ሞ ንስከፍ። እዚ ክብል እንከሎኹ ግን ንኹልና ኢየ።
    ሪኣ ጠሚታ ዘይተለሊ ነብሳ
    ካብ እንቛቑሖ እዩ ትብላ እቲ ኣበሳ
    ስግር ባሕሪ ኾይኑ ዕዳጋ እንቛቑሖ
    ጸገም’ያ ረኪባ እዛ ሓቛፊት ደርሆ
    ብዓንቶብኡስ ኣበይ ኪኢላቶ
    ስቑል ከተውርድ ናይ ሕቝፋ ሰይራቶ …… (ቝንጅና ኪንቲት)
    ኣብ ጎርባብቲ ሃገራት ጽልኢ ኣሕዲረ ኣይኾንኹን።
    ሕዱር ሕማሞም ግን ኣይንትምነዮም። ልቢ ክህቦም ከኣ ንትምነ።

    Aman and colleagues thank you for relentless efforts