Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – Saudi Arabia’s decision to shut down its embassy and recall its ambassador from Cairo, Egypt, following days of demonstrations over the detention of a prominent Egyptian human rights activist is symptomatic of a larger concern Jeddah has over the direction Egypt is heading, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The Saudis had detained Egyptian human rights lawyer Ahmed el-Gezawi in Jeddah, claiming that he had smuggled drugs into the kingdom. Egyptian demonstrators, who for days had been protesting his detention, claimed that he was jailed for insulting Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud.
The ruling interim military government is attempting to placate the Saudis but the basis for the protests reflects something more serious.
That concern is the rise of the Islamic fundamentalists in the Egyptian power structure since the fall of the Saudi-backed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last January.
The Saudis perceive both the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist al-Nour party as being anti-monarchy and wanting to set up Islamic caliphates in the place of Arab monarchies which rule all six of the Gulf Arab countries.
These countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emriates.
This portends a serious problem for Riyadh since the royal family is very concerned over the rising influence especially of the Brotherhood in the Saudi kingdom.
For some 30 years, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have been foundational for security in the region, but the dynamics of political change in Egypt could alter all that.
The initial Saudi closure of its Cairo embassy is a signal to the interim military to take whatever action is necessary to avoid disrupting that security arrangement that has been in place, with U.S. backing, for the past 30 years and especially served the Saudi royal family well.
It also puts increasing pressure on the interim military rulers to do something about the potential outcome of an Islamist president when the presidential elections are to take place on May 23.
The Brotherhood and Salafists together already control the Egyptian parliament. Given the political direction the country is going, the military may look to postpone the May 23 presidential elections, since there is the possibility an Islamist could become president.
The military already has given such an indication by saying that by that date a new constitution must be in place. However, the constitution writing committee comprised mostly of Islamists recently was declared unconstitutional by a court influenced by the military.
For its part, the military, which has ruled or been a determining influence in Egypt for the past 60 years, will be reluctant to give up its power base or lose the major economic influence it now exerts and the prosperity it has acquired as a result. All of these factors may prompt the interim military government to take direct action to delay the presidential elections indefinitely and continue its rule.
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