Thursday, February 01, 2024

  • Thursday, February 01, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

As reported, the Houthi attacks on worldwide shipping is hitting Egypt's economy very hard, as hundreds of ships are avoiding the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

Yet Egypt rejected joining the coalition of nations confronting the Houthi threat to shipping. Indeed, Egypt has not publicly rebuked the Houthi government for its actions and its media is silent on its resulting economic difficulties. According to analysts, Egypt wants to maintain good relations with all Arab countries and groups, allowing it to mediate in conflicts. Egypt is also skittish because of its own disastrous involvement in the North Yemen Civil War in the 1960s. 

Instead, the Egyptians quietly initiated communications with the Houthis through security channels asking them to only attack ships heading to Israel or otherwise linked to Israel. 

According to a source speaking to Al Araby al Jadeed, "the Egyptian-Houthi communications, in which Iran was a party, included Egyptian demands that the Houthis repeat assurances that these operations only target ships related to Israel and announce guarantees for that, in a way that encourages ships that are not covered by the warning to pass through." 

The Houthis refused, but communicated their appreciation that Egypt did not join forces protecting the Red Sea traffic. The Egyptians also asked Iran directly to intervene with the Houthis, and that request was also rejected. 

Publicly, however, Egypt has blamed the Houthi actions squarely on Israel.

On Sunday,  Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry spoke at a press conference following a meeting in Cairo with his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan, where he held Israel responsible for the tensions in the Red Sea. He stressed that freedom of global navigation and trade are established international rights and principles that everyone must abide by, yet added that "the risks that the Red Sea is witnessing are a direct result of the tension in the region due to Israeli practices in Gaza," accepting Houthi claims that they are somehow protecting Gaza.

Israel, naturally, is upset at Egypt for throwing the Jewish state under the bus. The two nations had signed an agreement in 2022 to increase Israeli gas sent to Egypt where it would be liquified and then sent to Europe suffering energy shortages from the Russian war on Ukraine. This is an important income source for Egypt.  

Israel shut down the Tamar gas field after October 7 because of Hamas rocket fire and this reduced the amount of gas exported to Egypt,  but it re-opened the field and resumed exports to Egypt a month later. At the moment Israeli natural gas exports to Egypt exceed the amounts before October 7. 

Even during wartime, Israel is working hard to help Egypt economically at a time when Cairo in dire need of economic aid.  

Egypt's response is to tell jihadists to attack Israeli assets. 

It is very much a one-way friendship. 

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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