Berenice in the Red Sea Rebus: What’s Still Vague in the Egypt-Saudi Alliance

Source: Italian Institute for International Political Studies

Author(s): Eleonora Ardemagni

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Since 2013, Egypt has been strengthening its naval power: this particularly regards the strategic direction of the Red Sea. In fact, the military declared “strategic zones of military importance”, areas where infrastructural, mining and tourism-related projects are flourishing. Moreover, the governor of the Red Sea governorate is a military general, as most of the provincial governors. As the Egyptian navy intensifies joint naval exercises in the Red Sea with Arab and European partners, the Berenice (Ras Banas) interforce military base, expanded and then opened in January 2020, reflects bold goals. In fact, Cairo is mostly investing in blue-water capabilities (deep sea) to support national prestige with the modernization of its Soviet-era fleet, and less on brown-water capabilities (littoral areas), despite asymmetric threats are on the rise.

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