On Geopolitics

After a Challenging Decade, Egypt Resumes Its Regional Role

Emily Hawthorne
Middle East and North Africa Analyst, Stratfor
Feb 7, 2019 | 11:00 GMT
The minaret of al-Azhar Mosque in October 2018 in Cairo.

The minaret of al-Azhar Mosque in October 2018 in Cairo.

(KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt will mark 150 years in 2019 since the completion of the Suez Canal. Vastly shortening the shipping distance between eastern and western corners of the globe by linking the Mediterranean and the Red seas, the canal attests to Egypt's highly strategic location. But controlling a key strategic chokepoint has never been enough for Egypt to ward off declining significance on the global stage. While Egypt's importance in the global system may remain up for debate, few in the Middle East would dispute Egypt's pivotal role in the region. Its willingness to involve itself in Middle East regional affairs, however, waxes and wanes according to how stable it is at home. Today, after years of political chaos since the Arab Spring and the return of the military to power, Egypt's internal politics have stabilized....

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