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Saudi–Egypt Causeway

A bridge over the Sea that separates Egypt and Saudi Arabia is to be established, Saudi's King Salman said in Cairo on 08 April 2016 in a press conference with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The oil-rich Sunni monarchies of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have bankrolled Egypt’s military-backed government since the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudi government provided support for the military-backed government that replaced the ousted president. A disdain for the founding group of modern Islamism, the Muslim Brotherhood, indisputably binds the leaders of Sunni-majority Egypt and Saudi Arabia. For sidelining the Brotherhood, long viewed by the Saudi monarchy as a challenge to its rule, Riyadh has been generously grateful. The kingdom has sent billions of dollars in aid to post-Morsi Egypt, keeping afloat, if barely, its sinking economy.

After pushing Nikita Khruschev out of office, Leonid Brezhnev succeeded him as the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1964. He would lead the USSR until his death in 1982, making him the longest-serving leader of the Cold War. In the West, Brezhnev is best remembered for the Brezhnev Doctrine, which stated that any attempt to turn a socialist country toward capitalism was a broader problem that affected all socialist countries and justified military intervention, as in Czechoslovakia in 1968. This policy was part of an effort to consolidate Soviet power and reduce the autonomy of Soviet satellite states.

In a Meeting of the 40 Committee, 27 June 1970, discussed efforts to prevent the election and inauguration of Salvador Allende in September 1970. Henry Kissinger famously said, "I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people." The events of September 1973 included the coup d’e´tat under General Pinochet, Allende’s suicide, and US diplomatic recognition of the military junta.

With the completion of the causeway between the Kingdom and Bahrain in December 1985, Saudi military access to the political influence in Bahrain was greatly improved. On 14 March 2011, Saudi Arabia dispatched some 1,000 troops to Bahrain as part of a plan dubbed ‘Shield Force of Peninsula’. About 200 Saudi military vehicles crossed a causeway that joins the two countries. The main Shiia opposition groups had called for the Sunni rulers to give up most of their powers to the elected parliament.

El-Sisi said the bridge, which would link the Asian and African continents and support export between the two countries, would be named after King Salman bin Abdelaziz. Israel agreed to allow a bridge to be constructed connecting Saudi Arabia to Egypt as part of the Saudi plans for the islandsof Tiran and Sanafir in the Red Sea.

In the absence of any information about its proposed location, cost, financing, economic return, and environmental impact, people are right to feel apprehensive about the project, the opacity of decision making, and the absence of any society-wide debate. The Saudi–Egypt Causeway is a proposal to link Egypt and Saudi Arabia with a causeway and bridge. The entire project was expected to cost about 3 billion US dollars. The causeway would link Tabuk to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula and would pass through Tiran Island at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba.

The project was announced in 2007, later dismissed by the Egyptian government, but again flagged up at Meed's Arabian Construction Summit in Abu Dhabi in February 2008. In March 2008 bids for the causeway which would link Saudi Arabia to Egypt are expected to be invited by the end of 2008. The 21km causeway was to be implemented as a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contract and is estimated to be worth around US $4 billion (SR15 billion). This causeway could cost anywhere between $8 billion to $13 billion.

The Chairman of Foreign Trade at the Egyptian Ministry of Commerce, Hussain Omran, said such a causeway would increase trade between the two countries by more than 300% from the present $4.2bn a year to more than $13bn in two years. Hisham Zazoua, senior assistant to the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, expected the causeway to increase the number of Saudi tourists visiting Egypt every year to more than 1.2 million from the current 300,000.

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Page last modified: 18-04-2016 20:03:32 ZULU