Israeli newspaper Ynetnews, the English publication of Yedioth Ahronoth, published a report on Tuesday claiming that Israel is preparing a series of mega projects to assist “Egypt’s fragile economy”. The newspaper said that this step comes after years of economic separation.
The report continued that joint discussions on these large-scale projects not only reflect the good relations between the two countries, but also the compelling need for significant improvement of Egypt’s economy, as its current state is threatening the country’s political stability.
After the signing of a peace agreement between Egypt and Israel in 1979, a boost in economic cooperation between the two countries occurred; however, that cooperation gradually decreased due to Egypt’s lack of interest, according to the report.
Citing Ynetnews’ report, Israel recently showed interest in several large-scale projects with Egypt, including desalinisation of seawater due to the potential drinking and irrigation water shortage that Egypt may face as a result of a low water levels in the Nile river.
Israel will also provide assistance in other projects, including solar energy, electricity production, irrigation, and gas. The report further added Egypt is considering the possibility of cooperation between the two countries in tourism sector, “as the billions invested in an expansion programme in the Suez Canal have yet to yield the expected revenues”.
The report further added officials from Israel and the US have raised concerns over Egypt’s economic stability, fearing that unless relevant progress in its economy occurs, the Muslim Brotherhood may cause social unrest and take to the streets to protest against President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
The report attributed the economic crisis to the turmoil in Sinai and Libya and Egypt’s support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Also, the UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia have only provided Egypt with a small amount of their financial commitment.
The bilateral ties between Egypt and Israel are strong diplomatically and on the military level; however, locally in Egypt the conflict between the two countries is voiced as ongoing.