I'm about to disappear for the MEI Annual Conference
through tomorrow, but may have a post or two to occupy you if I can. But first, I wanted to comment on the visit today of a senior Russian delegation to Egypt (the Foreign and Defense Ministers) to discuss new aid. The move is seen as a direct response to the growing coolness between the US and Egypt and the recent suspension of parts of the US aid package.
Déjà vu, anyone? In 1955, after an Israeli raid on Egyptian-occupied Gaza, Gamal Abdel Nasser asked the West to sell him arms and was offered conditions he couldn't accept. He turned to Czechoslovakia instead. In retaliation for this and other tilts towards the East Bloc (recognizing mainland China, attending the Bandung Conference), first Britain and then the US withdrew their previously offered aid for the building of the Aswan High Dam. In 1956, the Soviet Union stepped in and offered aid for the dam. Then Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal . . .
|Nasser & Khrushchev Divert the Nile Waters|
It's not quite the same; the Cold War is over and the zero-sum bipolar perceptions of those days have been replaced by a multipolar world. But then, given all the Sisi-is-the-new-Nasser hype, there are some parallels.