Saudi anger as Egypt votes with Russia in UN vote

#EgyptVote

Arab social media criticises Egypt for voting with Russia on a UN resolution that allows the continuation of bombing over Aleppo

UN Security Council (Reuters)
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Thursday 13 October 2016 9:00 UTC
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An Arabic trend #EgyptVotesInFavourOfRussia has emerged on Twitter criticising Egypt's decision to vote with a Russian UN draft resolution on Saturday. 

The Saudi envoy to the UN, Abdullah al-Muallami, labelled Egypt's position as "painful".

Al-Muallami explained his confusion that the "Senegalese and Malaysian stances were much closer to the agreed Arab decision" than Arab League member, Egypt. 

The UN Security Council voted on two rival resolutions. One was drafted by France demanding an end to air strikes and the implementation of a no-fly zone, while the Russian resolution urged for a ceasefire but made no mention of the French clause. 

Egypt was joined by Russia, China, and Venezuela in its support for the Russian resolution.

Egypt also voted for the opposing French resolution that demanded an end to all aerial bombardment and overflights of Aleppo by Russia and Syrian government aircraft. 

Since the vote, the Ministry of Petroleum in Saudi Arabia has said that Aramco, the Saudi state-owned oil company, has suspended its oil aid to Egypt but that the five-year agreement is still in effect.

Saudi ambasador to Egypt Ahmed Kattan left Cairo on Wedneday for a three-day trip to Riyadh. The timing of the trip prompted speculation about increased tension between the two countries.

This flurry of events came after an Egyptian court approved the transfer of two strategically placed islands to Saudi Arabia.

'Disloyalty'

Many Saudis took to social media to express anger that Egypt voted against Saudi, which some implied was an "anti-Arab" vote.

Translation: Egypt needs reminding that it represents Arabs in the Security Council. 

Translation: Saudi Arabia is very angry at the Egyptian position and describes its pain. Blackmailing Saudi Arabia (with the blood of Aleppo's children) is lowly and cheap behaviour. #EgyptVotesInFavourOfRussia 

File #مصر_تصوت_لصالح_المشروع_الروسي

Blackmail

Suggestions as to why Egypt had decided to go against Saudi Arabia and vote with Russia were made.

File #مصر_تصوت_لصالح_المشروع_الروسي

Translation: Saudi Arabia is very angry at the Egyptian position and describes its pain. Blackmailing Saudi Arabia (with the blood of Aleppo's children) is lowly and cheap behaviour. #EgyptVotesInFavourOfRussia 

File #مصر_تصوت_لصالح_المشروع_الروسي

Honourable Egyptians

Others made clear to differentiate between the government and its people, and placed the responsibility specifically with the Egyptian government of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. 

Translation: #EgyptVotesInFavourOfRussia. Egypt did not vote, it was the couped Sisi regime that voted, and he does not represent the honorable Egyptian people. 

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Tuesday said that Russia risked becoming a "pariah nation" over its bombing of Aleppo but rejected calls from MPs for the UK to push for a no-fly zone to stop the air strikes over rebel-held areas of the Syrian city.

This vote also comes as the UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, offered to personally accompany 900 militant fighters from Jabat Fateh al-Sham out of the city in order to bring an end to the fighting.