Egypt Trying to Engage in Persian Gulf Defense

July 12, 2001 - 0:0
TEHRAN Egypt has again offered to help Gulf Arab nations in regional defense. Persian Gulf sources said Egypt has approached the subject with several of its allies in the Persian Gulf. The latest effort was held during last week's visit by Kuwaiti Defense Minister Jaber Mubarak al Sabah to Cairo. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is said to have raised the issue with both Washington and several Persian Gulf countries.

The sources said a previous Egyptian offer aroused little interest, particularly from such countries as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. As a result, the sources said, Cairo has revised its offer and has stressed that it does not intend to deploy troops in the Persian Gulf. Instead, the plan is based on the interoperatability between Persian Gulf and Egyptian early warning and command and control systems.

This would allow the PGCC to monitor threats from the Red Sea. The new Egyptian offer has been discussed with the United States.

For his part, the Kuwaiti defense minister did not reject Egyptian participation in Persian Gulf regional defense. Al Sabah said the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council could benefit from Egypt's military expertise and defense industries.

The motives behind this Egyptian initiative, especially at this crucial stage of time when international attention is focused on Zionist atrocities in the occupied territories, are certainly questionable. The Islamic Republic of Iran has always rejected any interference by foreign forces in the region, and hence this proposal is seen as a provocative act by the Egyptians.