The steel wall Egypt is erecting on its border with Gaza has given Egypt a whiff of the former importance it once held in the Arab world. Seen as a puppet of the United States, Egypt has, since the signing of the peace deal, moved when the United States has ordered it to, spoken when the United States has ordered it to, and remained silent when ordered to do so. As a result, the role of Egypt has been usurped by countries such as Syria and even Saudi Arabia. But the erection of the steel wall has given Mubarak's regime a leverage that it has long been missing. Iran might be a little concerned about the wall, and Larijani's visit to Cairo last Sunday may be taken as a sign of this worry. Khaled Mishaal in turn has also gone to Tehran, most likely to discuss how Hamas is to deal with Fatah and Egypt during the upcoming negotiations that we will be hearing of.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Where to from here? Iran will allow Egypt a "prominent" role in the Hamas-Fatah negotations, as a broker. A little bone is thrown to Mubarak before he dies and Egypt repays some of the political debt that it has accumulated.