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Vol 57 No 8

Published 15th April 2016


Desperately seeking dollars

The promise of $22 billion from Saudi Arabia will do little to alleviate the chronic shortage of foreign exchange

King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud's 7-12 April official visit to Egypt celebrated economic closeness and demonstrated how open the kingdom's wallet was for aid, trade and investment in its favourite Middle Eastern regime. Yet it couldn't conceal, let alone solve, Egypt's long-term foreign exchange problems, while the ceding of two islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba to Saudi Arabia produced a fiercely hostile reaction from Egyptian nationalists. The visit, however, did cement ties and overruled the hints of a rift that had followed the changing of the royal guard in Riyadh on the death of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud in January 2015.

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