Egyptian-Gulf relations take new dip after Saudi visit to Ethiopia dam

A Saudi visit to Ethiopia and a tweet falsely attributed to a Qatari official have harmed relations between Cairo and Gulf monarchies

Egyptian media lashed out at Saudi Arabia over a high-level Saudi delegation visit to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during a short trip to Ethiopia on Friday. Experts said the decision to visit the GERD was an act of revenge against Egypt that could deepen tensions between the two countries.

Senior adviser at the Saudi royal court and board chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) Ahmed Al-Khateeb visited the site and met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn and other officials to discuss the GERD’s construction project.

Khateeb’s trip came after Saudi agriculture minister visited Ethiopia last week, making it the second visit by a Saudi official to Addis Ababa in less than one week.

On Saturday, Egyptian news commentator Mohamed Ali Khayr called on Riyadh to “review its policies before it can only blame itself for what ensues.”

“Egypt is not obliged to continue to contain its reactions towards Saudi Arabia… any interference [by Saudi Arabia] in the GERD project implies a direct threat to Egypt’s national security,” he said on Egyptian TV.

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