Egyptian President Thursday defended his country’s backing of a Russia-sponsored UN resolution last Saturday, a vote that angered Saudi Arabia, which took economic sanctions against the North African country by suspending oil supply.
Egypt took financial donor Saudi Arabia by surprise by voting in favor of the Russian-sponsored draft resolution backing the Syrian regime. Egypt was the only Arab country, which supported the Russian-sponsored resolution.
The Egyptian move shook Riyadh to the core, prompting the Saudi oil company Aramco to suspend petroleum shipments for October. A deal signed by the two countries in April stipulated that Aramco would deliver 700,000 tons of oil products monthly to Egypt.
The Egyptian President mocked the sanction, saying “Some commentators thought that halting the shipment of petroleum products was a response to that issue (Egypt’s UN vote).”
“I say no; take note that this deal is commercial.”
The Saudi sanction is expected to have knock-on effect in Egypt but al-Sisi argued that his Government has taken measures to cushion the effects.
Blowing hot and cold at the same time, Sisi said “we are very, very careful about our historical relations with our brothers in the Gulf,” but added that Egypt would never give up in front of any country.
“There are attempts to pressure Egypt but it won’t kneel before anyone but God,” al-Sisi stressed, underlining that his country is sovereign in its decision-making.