Signs Point to Worsening Tensions Between Nations
Saudi officials have for awhile indicated they have some beef with the Egyptian junta over their failure to come through with promised economic reforms. This appears to be worse than anyone thought, however, with Egypt’s Oil Ministry announcing today they received a message from the Saudi government that all oil shipments will be halted indefinitely.
The Saudis have heavily backed Egypt since the 2013 military coup, and had been seen as close allies, with Egypt joining the Saudi war on Yemen, and announcing the transfer of a pair of islands to Saudi sovereignty, though the island transfer has since been shot down by Egyptian courts.
Back in April the two nations signed a huge deal where the Saudis would send 700,000 tonnes of refined oil to Egypt per month for the next five years. Egypt insists the deal is still in place, but Saudi Arabia has stopped sending the goods. The Oil Ministry says that the Saudis gave them no reason for the halt.
The announcement comes amid all the existing strains, and also a report, apparently false, that Egypt’s Oil Minister would be traveling to Tehran this week. Saudi Arabia is always furious when anyone has any contact with Iran, and those media reports, since denied by everyone, could have played a role in the announcement.
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