Egypt under President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi appears committed to avoid falling into the contentious Sunni-Shia divide by reconfiguring its security considerations based on the recognition of new circumstances that prioritize stability above sectarian and ethnic identity concerns. While Egypt is unlikely to fundamentally alter its foreign policy anytime soon, largely due to its economic dependency on rich Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, its recalibration of relations with Iran has assumed a new level of importance. The growing threat of violent extremism to destabilize the regional order and state-system is undermining old political alliances. This paper provides a systematic attempt to examine the prospects of Egypt’s foreign policy changes and their regional implications, particularly for its economic dependency on Saudi Arabia.
The civil war in Syria continues to devastate social and political structures, precipitating floods of refugees and surging populations of internally displaced people. Syria has degenerated into sectarian- and ethnic-based warring mini-states vying for power as their country faces utter social disorder. It mass-produces a growing cadre of battle hardened foreign and domestic jihadists affiliated with the various al-Qaeda brands. The war weariness of America and the unmanageable chaos in Syria combine to create shifts in regional politics. This article seeks to put into perspective the crucial role that regional mediation can play in nudging along practical solutions. Without regional commitment and coordination among key Middle Eastern powers, namely Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, international diplomatic efforts to restore order and stability in Syria are not likely to succeed.
Conflicting dynamics and power calculation: within the Bush administration have given rise to contradictory signals coming from Washington regarding how best to deal with the Iranian puzzle. The situation indicates a lack of strategic coherence that could tip the balance toward a military showdown with Iran. If anything, the 2001 and 2003 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have essentially altered the balance of power to Iran's advantage, represent a total disregard for the ensuing negative consequences for the region. Under such circumstances, the absence of serious, direct talks with Iran have the potential to lead to greater momentum for wan In this paper, we set out to examine the internal and regional consequences of a US. attack on Iran, while asserting that the benefits of cooperation outweigh the costs of military confrontation. Negotiating with Iran is the only reasonable solution to the crisis confronting these two powers, and U.S.-Iran rapprochement can have a stabilizing impact on the entire region. Conversely, the implications of confrontation will be horrendously costly and profound.