Leaked Al-Sisi recording could cause rift

13 May 2015

Recordings claimed to have been authenticated by independent UK audio forensics firm

  • Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi accused of mocking GCC states in leaked audio recordings
  • Recordings authenticated by independent UK audio forensics firm
  • Al-Sisi could find himself isolated from Egypt’s biggest financiers

Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi faces embarrassing allegations that he mocked the GCC states that are now providing funding to the country, following the authentication of leaked audio recordings from 2014.

An independent UK-based audio forensics company has claimed the recordings allegedly made of Al-Sisi have now been authenticated.

In the recording, Al-Sisi, who was then the army chief, is heard mocking the wealth of Gulf states and claiming that “Egypt deserves a share of this money”.

The voice in the recording also went on to say: “We need 10 ($m) to be deposited in the army’s account… These 10, when we succeed, will be used for what? For the state. We want another 10… from the UAE and we want from Kuwait another 10.”

Egypt has yet to comment on the fresh allegations, although when the tapes initially emerged in 2014, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahleb snubbed the accusations during a televised interview and said: “The Egyptian government does not believe in fabricated propaganda by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies.”

The recordings could cause problems for Al-Sisi’s government, which has been increasingly dependent on GCC support.

In March this year, Al-Sisi hosted the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) in Sharm el-Sheikh with heavy support from Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.  

Riyadh is the biggest foreign investor in Egypt and said during the EEDC that it would provide $4bn of funding to support Cairo. Kuwait provided $2.7bn of aid to the country in 2014, with $2bn deposited with the central bank and $700m of energy products. The UAE’s investment in Egypt totalled $14bn. In 2014, the country provided $7.9bn to Cairo – $2bn deposited with the central bank, $2.7bn as a grant and a further $3.2bn in energy products.

If the authentication of the recordings is taken seriously by GCC leaders, Al-Sisi could find himself isolated from Egypt’s biggest financiers.

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