MOSCOW, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Egypt's Minister of Defense, First Deputy Prime Minister and likely presidential candidate, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (not pictured) in Novo-Ogaryovo residence on February 13, 2014 near Moscow, Russia. Egypt's Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy are on a two-day official visit to meet with their Russian counterparts for bilateral discussions. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 A.M.) – Egypt has reportedly withdrawn from U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Arab NATO” initiative following President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Washington.

According to the Reuters News Agency, Egypt has made the decision to withdraw fro the U.S.-led “Middle East Security Alliance”, which has been dubbed “Arab NATO”.

This NATO-like group that has been formed by the U.S. administration is composed of a number of Arab states, including Jordan, the United Arab Emirtes, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar.

Furthermore, sources from Reuters said the Egyptian authorities were partially motivated by uncertainty over President Trump’s re-election and whether his successor would scrap the entire initiative — just like Trump himself scrapped the Iranian Nuclear Deal.

Cairo’s decision is believed to have inflicted a blow on Trump’s strategy of curbing Iranian influence in the region, Reuters report says.

It is worth noting that Egypt has been flirting with the idea of purchasing the Russian-made Su-35 stealth jets; this has prompted outrage from the Trump administration.

According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “We have made clear that systems were to be purchased that… would require sanctions on the regime,” Pompeo told the Senate Committee on Appropriations. “We have received assurances from them, they understand that, and I am very hopeful they will decide not to move forward with that acquisition.”

Egypt is the most densely populated country in North Africa; it also possesses one of the strongest militaries in the Arab world.

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    • More likely due to a phonecall from Bibi to al-Sisi, moreover, Egypt has serious funding problems for her army, it’s even why they ordered MiG-35 and now Su-35 : since they owe already a lot of money to France due to huge weapons purchases, France finances ministry didn’t allowed more loans to allow the purchase of more Rafales.
      The Egyptian military budget has fell to less than $5B, mostly due to the fact Saudis did serious cuts in monetary help to poorer Arab countries, re-funnelling the money into their own weapons purchases ($88B in 2018)
      It already forced Egypt to withdraw from the coalition that’s been put up to liberate Yemen and it has became a serious problem at the point al-Sisi required Israelis to do most of air-job against ISIS/Sinai, using unmarked drones.

  1. Trump administration can be outraged at will, nevertheless, they are funny : EAF is VERY low on budget has geriatric aircraft to replace : 75 Mirage-5 and about as much F-16 from the 80’s (40 F-16A/B and 42 F-16C/D block 32 delivered), most of the F-16 fleet being from the 90’s (138 F-16C/D block 40 delivered until 2002), so even not to be done ASAP, replacement program already needs to be put in place. Only 20 recent Block 52 have been received (2013-2015). All remaining MiG-21 have also been retired not so long ago (I think there still were more than 100 only 2-3 years ago)

    Little problem : The F-16 factory has been closed after the last Iraqi deliveries, moreover, a F-16V “block 60” costs $85M/unit, not counting what you’ll have to pay to purchase the Fort Worth factory.
    Latest F/A-18 upgraded versions ain’t cheaper since they integrate EA-18G Growler’s features, F-15 will cost you $100M/unit and not speaking about F-35A (Israel paid $144M/unit, even USAF wants to cut the orders now!, any way, Israel opposes the delivery of F-35 and not only to Egypt but to all countries in the region and they have SERIOUS leverage since… Rafael, Elbit and IAI will simply allow to spare $180B on the replacement of Patriot PAC-2/3/3 MSE interceptors alone, and I’m not counting other systems.

    Europeans are not likely so sell Euro-canards since Egypt already owes big money from arms sales and ministries of finances are not likely to say OK, e.g. al-Sisi asked for 16 more Rafales and Bercy refused to let a loan go.
    So… No surprise he ordered 56 MiG-35 and now he’s seeking about 20 Su-35 : they’re cheaper (well, to purchase, wait for the cost of use, especially with the Flanker, thus, even MiG-29/35 are on the heavy side).

    In other terms, with a military budget that fell to $2.9 billion, incl. US$1.3 billion of U.S military aid in 2018, I don’t really see from whom Egypt could buy fighter-jets but from Russia or China… Well, maybe buying 2nd hand Flankers from Sudan? Now al-Bashir is out, I don’t think Sudan will go on dilapidating the GDP in the military and Su-35 is really expensive to maintain… Maybe Egypt could dump the retired MiG-21s on Sudan as replacement+spare-parts while allying with the new government in order to deter potential conflict with Eritrea?

    Well, Tejas would be a great alternative, the problem is the disastrous decisionship in India as they’d need to decide for the proposed “Rafalised” proposed version, but … Only 8 are being built a year, a 2nd assembly line is being built but even with 4, India’s needs would eat 8-10 years of production (!) and considering the cost per unit for such definitive version would rise from $20M to $40-45M, nevertheless, such a definitive version would absolutely be able to replace and outmatch F-16 and Mirage-2000, it’s the sole affordable solution with low cost f use and able to provide 5th gen features.

    The outrage is ridiculous : it’s like if Porsche practised Ferrari prices and were complaining out of money clients starting to buy from Lada!
    Egypt GDP is $301B with a $3,005 GDP/capita and a 100M population. Israel has $390B GDP, but with only 9M inhabitants (added with 4.5M squatters who are provided free electricity and water, OK), the GDP/capita being $43,200, OK, they can afford to buy aircraft from USA or Europe while Egypt simply can’t!

    Moreover, this Arab “NATO” would mean spending at least 2% of GDP in the military. Sorry, but Egypt can’t spend $6B at it unless KSA resumes the funding they stopped when Ikhwan took over the country after Mubarak’s fall or if USA raises the annual military help from $1.3B to $4.4B = $600M more than Israel…
    In other terms, if the Trump admin wants Egypt not to buy aircraft from Russia, USA has to give F-16/15/18/35 to Egypt or to push Saudis at funding procurements…
    IMHO, would Yanks help to eradicate Ikhwan+ISIS/Sinai, it’d GREATLY help Egyptian economy which is greatly based on tourism and shitlamists presence is disastrous for tourism, period!