Proxy wars have taken place in the Middle East for some years now.
The two main power players in the region, Iran, and Saudi Arabia send money or weapons to other regional governments.
It is known as the “New Middle East Cold War.”
Iran backs Yemen, Syria, and Qatar, whilst the opposition group of Hezbollah in Lebanon can also count on support.
Saudi Arabia supports Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. It also upholds excellent relations with Pakistan.
With the Saudi purge, we have widely reported on, the stage seems set for a new Iran - Saudi Arabia conflict. Sunni versus Shia Muslims that is, or a repeat of the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s.
The tensions in the region of these past weeks have spurred a selloff across Gulf stock markets to the tune of almost $7 billion.
And now Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (pictured with Saudi King Salman) is also taking sides.
On public TV, he has once again repeated he was opposed to any war with Iran or its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, and that Gulf tensions should be handled cautiously to avoid adding to regional turmoil to the Middle East.
“Our point of view when it comes to new troubles with either Iran or Hezbollah or any other issue is that we have to deal with great care so as not to add to the challenges and troubles of the region. I am against war.”
However, during this interview, President El-Sisi also warned Iran not to meddle in Arab security. “We call for not increasing tensions in the region, but not at the expense of Arab and Gulf national security.”
When asked about the Saudi Arabian arrests of dozens of royals, current and former ministers, and businessmen, President El-Sisi said the situation in Saudi Arabia was stable and reassuring: “I have confidence in the kingdom’s leadership,” adding that it was an “internal issue.”