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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Is it possible to convince Egypt to accept refugees from Gaza?

The situation in Gaza is dire, with people enduring constant bombardment, displaced from their homes, and facing a humanitarian crisis. The only non-Israeli route out of the territory, the Rafah gate, has been closed, leaving many desperate for a way out.

Efforts are being made to secure safe passage for those in need, with American officials working to persuade Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to open the gate for those fleeing the violence. As Egypt’s economy continues to struggle, with high inflation and a plummeting currency, the potential for foreign aid to influence the situation is becoming more apparent.

In the past, Egypt has benefitted from financial assistance in exchange for geopolitical cooperation, such as its support for the United States during the Gulf war. Now, with Egypt facing economic challenges, foreign diplomats may have an opportunity to leverage aid and support in exchange for cooperation.

However, there are obstacles to overcome. President el-Sisi may not be feeling immediate pressure, as Egypt’s financial reserves can cover imports for several months. Additionally, most of Egypt’s borrowing comes from private banks and local-currency bonds, meaning that traditional debt relief options may not be viable. Furthermore, the majority of Egypt’s external borrowing and foreign reserves come from Gulf countries, giving them significant leverage in any potential deals.

One crucial aspect of any agreement would be the assurance that other countries are willing to share the burden of hosting Gazan refugees. It’s essential to provide support for these individuals, as they may require housing, education, and healthcare. Without this assurance, Egypt’s economy could struggle to cope with an influx of refugees.

As the situation unfolds, there is a growing sense of urgency to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and find solutions to support those in need while also addressing Egypt’s economic challenges. With careful negotiations and collaboration between various stakeholders, it’s possible to find a path forward that benefits all parties involved. The hope is that through diplomatic efforts and strategic assistance, a resolution can be reached to provide relief for the people of Gaza and support Egypt in managing this complex situation.

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