Egypt has been struggling financially for sometime, relying on the aid of others to survive. Various countries have contributed, like the United States; however, Saudi Arabia has given the most aid to the tune of 25 billion dollars. However, the Egyptians don’t seem to care about the help given because of their vote in the United Nations about a new resolution dealing with Syria. Unfortunately, Egypt is now straining under the weight of even more financial strain due to decreasing tourism, extreme inflation, and fewer imports. Saudi Arabia is also facing problems with their own energy sector because of falling prices of oil and the nationalism shown by the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has influence in the state-run oil company. The Saudi Arabian government clearly has reacted poorly to this news, leading to a delay in an oil shipment and, by one official, opening mocking of Mr. Sisi, leader of Egypt. Egypt wans to retain its own independence, but their actions of supporting Mr. Assad as the leader of Syria goes against the beliefs and wishes of the Saudi Arabian government. The rift between these two nations is worrisome as they are the strongest Sunni countries in the area. However, given the importance of Egypt as a neighbor to Saudi Arabia, it is unlikely that they will stop receiving aid from Saudi Arabia.
Although the days of colonies and mercantilism are over for the most part, this article shows an example of economic colonialism. Countries still want to keep others in their sphere of influence by economic mean, and they expect to have their wishes upheld by their debtors. Saudi Arabia’s aid of 25 billion dollars could be out of generosity, but more likely is a ploy to get something from the Egyptians. As this article states it is likely that the Saudis were “buying loyalty,” and were likely surprised by the Egyptians actions. However, it is clear that everyone wants to keep their sovereignty. Does aid have to come with strings, and should countries that receive aid respect the wishes of their benefactors? It seems like “buying” another country is not moral, but they are the ones who accepted money from a greater power. Will the upcoming years of state interactions be based on hegemons who can buy other people into their control? We have seen examples of those with economic states dominating those without in the past. It might be the new way for countries to relate to each other. Soft power might become more powerful than hard power, and I think that would be preferable if it led to any decrease in the amount of war. This change in dynamic seems to be stable, and we hope for no lead to any armed conflict in the future.
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