The lightening coup which Wednesday, July 3, overthrew President Mohamed Morsi put in reverse gear for the first time the Obama administration’s policy of sponsoring the Muslim Brotherhood movement as a moderate force for Arab rule and partner in its Middle East policies. debkafile reveals that the Egyptian military could not have managed their clockwork coup without the aid of Saudi and Dubai intelligence and funding.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE threw their weight and purses behind Egypt’s generals aiming to put their first big spoke in the US-sponsored Arab Revolt (or Spring), after they failed to hold the tide back in Libya, Egypt and thus far Syria.
To learn the name of the Egyptian politician designated to lead his country when the army bows out, read the coming issue of DEBKA Weekly due out Friday.
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The coup leader, Defense Minister and army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, had two more Saudi-Gulf commitments in his pocket, say debkafile's Middle East sources:
1. Should the Obama administration cut off the annual US aid allocation of $1.3 billion, Saudi Arabia and the UAE would make up the military budget’s shortfall;
2. The Saudis, UAE and other Gulf nations, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, would immediately start pumping out substantial funds to keep the Egyptian economy running. The Egyptian masses would be shown that in a properly managed economy, they could be guaranteed a minimal standard of living and need not go hungry as many did under Muslim Brotherhood rule.
According to our sources, the Saudis and the UAE pledged to match the funds Qatar transferred to the Muslim Brotherhood’s coffers in Cairo in the past year, amounting to the vast sum of $13 billion.
This explains President Barack Obama’s caution Thursday morning, July 4, in his expression of deep concern over the ousting of the Egyptian president and the suspension of its constitution. He urged the military to restore government to civilian hands – without accusing them outright of a coup d’etat – and to “avoid arresting President Mosi and his supporters.”
The US president refrained from cutting off aid to Egypt, now under military rule, only ordering his administration “to assess what the military's actions meant for US foreign aid to Egypt.”
Thursday morning, Washington ordered US diplomats and their families to leave Cairo at once, leaving just a skeleton staff at the embassy for emergencies. debkafile: This step is only one symptom of the broad gulf developing between the Obama administration and Egypt’s post-coup administration headed by Defense Minister and coup leader Gen. El-Sisi
By means of the successful military putsch in Cairo, Saudi King Abdullah had his revenge for the toppling of his friend Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, for which he has never forgiven President Obama whom he held responsible.
The Saudi-Gulf intervention in Egypt’s change of government also ushers in a new stage of the Arab Revolt for the Middle East. For the first time, a group of traditionally pro-US conservative Arab governments has struck out on its own to fill the leadership vacuum left by the Obama administration’s unwillingness to pursue direct initiatives in the savage Syrian civil war or forcibly preempt Iran’s drive for a nuclear bomb.
The removal of Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt has far-reaching ramifications for Israel. In the immediate term, it gives Israel some security relief – especially, easing the dangers posed from Sinai to its southern regions. The radical Palestinian Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot which rules the Gaza Strip, has suffered the most damaging political and military setback in its history with the loss of its parent and patron in Cairo.
The big question facing Egypt’s still uncertain future is: Will Riyadh and the UAE follow through on their backing for Gen. Fattah El-Sisi, the most powerful man in Egypt today, and release the promised funds for rehabilitating the Egyptian economy?