Egypt back in the Arab driver’s seat?

Egypt disappeared from the Middle East after the 2011 Arab Spring. Anyone accustomed to Egypt’s leading role in the Arab world, not just under Gamal Abdel Nasser, was forced to accept the fact that Egypt had become just another actor, while the rich oil-producing Gulf countries assumed leading regional roles.

The operation in Gaza and the Egyptian mediation thus provided Egypt with an opportunity to renew its active role in the Gulf arena. In light of Qatar’s continued support to the Muslim Brotherhood, it still remains to be seen whether an Egyptian-Qatari full rapprochement is in the offing.

The recent opening between Turkey and Egypt also signals agreements and understandings on several contentious issues that soured their relationship: Libya and the attitude toward the Muslim Brotherhood.

Does the Egyptian activism signal a sea change?