„Over the last quarter-century, Egypt and Saudi Arabia had broadly worked in tandem: Egypt had provided the crucial Arab participation in the Saudi-Western coalition against Saddam Hussain in 1990-91, while Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies had provided tens of billions of dollars in vital aid to Sisi’s regime. However, the Egyptian and Saudi leaderships did not draw closer together to jointly combat their difficulties. In fact, relations have deteriorated significantly in recent months, reaching a nadir not seen since the partial Arab boycott of Egypt during the 1980s, as punishment for Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. To be sure, the Egyptian-Saudi alliance had never been friction- free. Egypt’s self-view as the Arab world’s natural leader was increasingly at odds with its deep-seated internal problems and the financial might of the Saudis and smaller Gulf principalities.
Mutual sensitivities burst forth this past April, when Sisi sought to transfer two small islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba to Saudi sovereignty as a gesture of thanks for Saudi support. The resulting public outcry and judicial intervention scuttled the move, to the Saudis’ extreme annoyance. No less annoying was Egypt’s refusal to participate in the Saudi-led military operations in Yemen. And most significant of all was Egypt’s tilt in recent months toward the Assad regime in Syria and its Russian patron.“ (Bruce Maddy-Weitzman: „Egypt and Saudi Arabia: The end of an alliance?“)