An Egyptian member of Parliament called Saudi Arabia 'the notorious creator of terrorism' and spoke of the possibility of severing ties with the Arab country in an interview with Tasnim news agency. Following is a rough transcript of the interview:
Saudi Arabia is attempting to projectile itself as a regional heavyweight, but the point is that Riyadh lacks the competence to be regarded as an influential player like Iran, Amin Iskander, a member of Egypt’s House of Representatives and co-founder of the Dignity Party (Al-Karama), told Tasnim.
Commenting on the escalation of tensions between Cairo and Riyadh after Egypt’s decision to vote in favor of a Russian-drafted UN resolution that allows the continuation of airstrikes on terrorists in Aleppo, Iskander did not rule out the possibility of severance of ties between the two Arab countries.
“I personally believe that severance of Egypt’s relations with Saudi Arabia would benefit the Arab Ummah (community),” the Egyptian writer and political activist added.
He further criticized the Egyptian leaders for underestimating the power of the African country, saying the Cairo government’s obedience to the Saudi policies has damaged Egypt’s position and undermined its influence.
Highlighting Saudi Arabia’s failure to play the role of a major regional actor, Iskander stressed that the axis of power in the region should be shared between Iran and Egypt, not Saudi Arabia.
Last week, the UN Security Council voted on two resolutions. One was drafted by France demanding an end to airstrikes and the implementation of a no-fly zone in Syria, while the Russian resolution urged for a ceasefire but made no mention of the French clause.
Egypt was joined by Russia, China, and Venezuela in its support for the Russian resolution.
The Saudi envoy to the UN, Abdullah al-Muallami, labelled Egypt's position as "painful", according to Middle East Eye.
Since the vote, the Ministry of Petroleum in Saudi Arabia has said that Aramco, the Saudi state-owned oil company, has suspended its oil aid to Egypt but that the five-year agreement is still in effect.
Saudi ambassador to Egypt, Ahmed Kattan, left Cairo on Wednesday for a three-day trip to Riyadh. The timing of the trip prompted speculation about increased tension between the two countries.