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Cairo tries to calm riled Riyadh

A delayed and much-needed $23bn oil-products package from Saudi Arabia to Cairo is part of a complex political narrative with few signs of an easy fix

Egypt's growing political independence is propelling a fundamental shift in its historical energy alliance with regional hegemon Saudi Arabia, and the change brings the potential to scar. A growing list of political irritants for Saudi Arabia is likely the reason the kingdom halted a $23bn oil-products package last October, just a few months after it agreed the five-year supply deal in April. Riyadh was rankled by Egypt's reluctance to back the Saudi-led coalition against multiple groups opposing the Yemeni government since 2015, notably the Houthis, a Zaidi Shia group from northern Yemen. But relations were particularly soured in October following Egypt's support of a Russian UN draft reso

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