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Inside Story
Egypt's regional influence wanes
US report suggests Saudi Arabia is now set to play a leading role among Arab states.
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2009 09:20 GMT

A report by the US National Intelligence Council (NIC) reveals that Egypt may have lost its leading role among Arab states and that power in the Middle East is passing to Saudi Arabia.

The report is a damning assessment of a country that was once considered a paragon of democracy in the region.

The NIC suggests that the failure of Egypt's economy to grow at the same rate as others in the region may be partially responsible for the country's decreasing influence.

It also highlights the age of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president, and questions whether he continues to provide the level of leadership he once did.

The report concludes by saying that Egypt no longer offers an attractive political or economic model to the rest of the Arab world.

In this episode of Inside Story, we ask if the criteria for judging who leads and who follows in the region has been reduced to the amount of support they offer for US policies and interests.

Presenter Maryam Nemazee is joined by Ezzedine Choukri-Fishere, an international politics professor at the American University in Cairo and a former adviser to the Egyptian foreign minister, Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East advisor to six secretaries of state and author of The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace, and Jamal Khashoggi, the editor of the Saudi daily newspaper, Al-Watan.

This episode of Inside Story airs on Wednesday, February 25, at 1730GMT and 2230GMT, with repeats at 0430GMT and 0830GMT on Thursday.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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