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5 ways Egypt and the Arab world benefit from Russian-Egyptian cooperation

Russia’s re-established strong relations with Egypt are a boost for the Arab world.

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Following Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu’s visit to Egypt, Moscow and Cairo have agreed that Russian Aerospace Forces will have the right to use Egypt’s air bases. In addition to both permanent and temporary bases in Syria, this means that Russia now has two friendly states in the Middle East with whom it can rely on for defence and security cooperation.

While this represents an achievement in the steadily re-ignited positive relations between Egypt and Moscow, which have attained their most fruitful levels since the Nasser era, ultimately, the move is more important for Egypt than for Russia.

In the Nasser era, Egypt was the undisputed leader of the Arab world and the wider Middle East. It’s geo-political leadership, military strength and economic might meant that other countries looked first to Cairo for all matters concerning pan-Arab issues.

Today, Egypt’s position is far weaker, although Egypt remains incredibly important as the most populous Arab state. Under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Egypt has restored secular rule after a brief period of being held captive by a Muslim Brotherhood regime. The terrorist group is once again illegal in Egypt.

However, since 2013 when Egypt re-established normalcy in government, Cairo has become overly reliant on Saudi Arabian investments. In spite of this, Egypt still shows some degree of geo-political independence on issues such as Lebanon. Cairo recently refused to join Saudi Arabia in sanctioning Hezbollah, much to the chagrin of Riyadh.

Beyond this however, Egypt’s warming relations with Russia could help to ensure Cairo’s geo-political independence, as in recent years the country has been far too reliant on both Saudi money and American geo-political cooperation to truly exercise the kind of sovereign regional leverage it achieved in the age of Nasser and the Non-Aligned Movement which he co-founded.

While the agreement with Russia does not change Egypt’s position overnight, it does signify an important building block in a longer-term relationship that could help Egypt become more independently assertive in the following ways.

1. Palestine 

Under Nasser, Egypt was the most important supporter of Palestine. Egypt’s historical ties to Palestine still carry some amount of weight, as Cairo was the location of a recent meeting between the Palestinian parties Fatah and Hamas which resulted in a power-sharing agreement, the conditions of which are still attempting to be implemented in Gaza, in spite of a new Israeli onslaught.

Since 1979 when Egypt normalised relations with the Israeli regime, Cairo has been less generous to the Palestinians. However, if Russia were to become more involved in Egypt, Cairo could become more assertive in this area.

Russia retains a balanced relationship with both Palestine and the regime in Tel Aviv, but crucially, Russia’s most important Arab ally Syria is the last Arab country in which supporting Palestine is a major policy issue.

While many highlight the fact that Russia does not consider it within its mandate to stop illegal Israeli attacks on Syria, what many neglect to realise is that if not for Russia’s presence in Syria, Israeli forces could have attacked and occupied more parts of Syria than that which they already do.

Tel Aviv will not want to risk Russia’s wrath by provoking any new major conflicts with its neighbours. This is why the regime has increasingly turned to terrorist funded proxy wars rather than direct military engagement.

A more independent Egypt could return to a more balanced policy on Palestine, something which would irk both the occupier and Saudi Arabia, but which is necessary if any lasting peace is to be achieved for Palestine.

An Egypt that has been closer to Palestine has been invaded and occupied by Israel in the past. The presence of Russian fighter jets in Egypt could serve to deter such a move if relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv were to deteriorate over Palestine.

2. Saudi Arabia 

The kind of liquid cash flow that Saudi Arabia injects into Egypt will not be easily replaced, but at the same time, with Riyadh becoming ever more assertive over its regional allies, the presence of Russian planes on Egyptian airfields would certainly make Saudi think twice before attempting to meddle in Egypt. If Saudi Arabia wants to complete its ambitious Vision 2030 economic diversification programme, it cannot afford to alienate China or Russia, as the expertise required for such a project can and likely will be provided by the two eastern superpowers. The US by contrast, would rather see Saudi retain its own economic dependence on the Petrodollar. Thus, Russia could help Egypt to leverage its diplomatic weight against an increasingly power-hungry Riyadh.

3. Libya 

Unlike the US, Egypt supports the secular Libyan House of Representatives whose capital is in the city of Tobruk, near the Egyptian border. In recent months, Egypt has coordinated airstrikes on Takfiri terrorists with the Tobruk government and both have pledged to expand mutual commitments.

Russia has also been developing increasingly close ties with the Libyan House of Representatives and its de-facto representative abroad, Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar.

As Egypt is the only country with any legitimate mandate to help secure Libya and reverse its current status as a failed state, a Russian partnership with both Cairo and Tobruk could ultimately provide the only source of salvation for Libya.

4. Syria 

Dating from the beginning of the Syria conflict, Egypt’s policy towards Syria has at best been ambiguous and at its lowest ebb, has been hostile.

Recently, Egypt has become increasingly supportive of stability in Syria and has called for preserving the territorial integrity and political unity of Syria.

It is no coincidence that Egypt’s increasingly reasonable and productive line on Syria has happened as Russian relations with Cairo have grown increasingly warm.

With quiet Russian assistance, Egypt could become a key problem solver for Syria. As a large predominately Sunni Arab state, Egypt’s voice in support of Syria’s unity and political sovereignty could be important, not least because it would counter the Saudi/western narrative that the war in Syria is a sectarian battle rather than the proxy imperialist conflict which it is.

5. Lebanon 

If Saudi Arabia was foolish enough to attempt airstrikes on Lebanon, it would almost certainly require the use of Egyptian air bases. Egypt has already shown reluctance to join Riyadh’s anti-Lebanon would-be jihad. insofar as President Sisi refused to sanction assets of Hezbollah.

An increased Russian presence in Egypt could only help solidified Egypt’s position as a restraint on would-be Saudi aggression against Lebanon.

CONCLUSION: 

As I have previously written, the Middle East is now roughly divided into rival north versus south blocs. At the moment, the two most influential powers in the southern bloc are Saudi Arabia and Egypt. If Egypt, rather than Saudi were to become the most important power in this bloc, it could go a long way in easing tensions as secular Egypt is historically not hostile towards countries like Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

While Russia is also developing historically new ties with Riyadh, ultimately, Saudi Arabia holds the potential to be an economic leader of the wider southern bloc of the Middle East if (and it is a big if) Vision 2030 is successful, but ultimately, Egypt is far better placed to assert diplomatic leadership of the region, not least because it is a far less ideologically restricted power than Saudi Arabia.

Russia can help Egypt in respect of re-establishing a broader, more open, more balanced and  more dignified position in the region. Russia and Egypt were once highly important allies, in the coming years, this relationship could become increasingly restored.

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

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Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

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Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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Deep State poster boy Peter Strzok gives bizarre testimony that goes viral (Video)

The face of the Deep State.

Alex Christoforou

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If you were not convinced that the Deep State exists, then look no further than Peter Strzok’s bizarre, yet revealing, congressional testimony, showcasing the arrogance and smugness of a powerful FBI agent who worked diligently to push a fake Trump-Russia narrative onto the American public.

Via Zerohedge

While Peter Strzok’s marathon Congressional testimony was full of bickering, chaos and drama – mostly between members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees – a clip of the disgraced FBI agent’s seemingly giddy reaction after answering a question is creeping people out.

Some have suggested that Strzok’s reaction was “Duper’s delight” – a hidden smirk that slips out at an inappropriate moment when a liar celebrates a successful manipulation.

Watching Peter Strzok, its hard, if not impossible to believe that this man is not a psychopath, who hated Trump so much that he was willing to forward a collusion story that has cost American taxpayers millions, and torn American society apart.

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The video clip even had Donald Trump Jr retweeting it, as he labeled Strzok “the creepiest person in America.”

Via RT

One particular moment from Peter Strzok’s raucous congressional hearing left Twitter users confounded and disturbed, even prompting Donald Trump Jr to label the FBI agent “the creepiest person in America.”

Strzok faced the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on Thursday to answer questions about his conduct during the 2016 investigations into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The lengthy hearing quickly descended into a partisan shouting match, as Republicans and Democrats interrupted each other’s questions, heckling or applauding Strzok.

Strzok’s peculiar reaction to one question caught the eye of viewers and many took to Twitter to confirm that their eyes weren’t deceiving them.

Strzok’s facial expressions were also noticed by the congressmen in the room and prompted one of the most dramatic moments of the hearing when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) accused Strzok of outright lying.

“I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk; how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page,” Gohmert told Strzok, referring to the agent’s extramarital affair with his former colleague Lisa Page, with whom he exchanged anti-Trump text messages. Gohmert’s comment sparked vociferous objections from Democrats.

The hearing evoked a significant reaction, with many describing it as a farce. Former New York mayor and current attorney to US President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, labelled it a “disgrace” and said it “taints the entire Mueller witch hunt.”

“President Trump is being investigated by people who possess pathological hatred for him. All the results of the investigation are ‘fruit of the poison tree’ and should be dismissed,” he added.

Democrats seemed to agree with that sentiment, as California Congressman Ted Lieu said it was “a stupid and ridiculous hearing.”

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