Today, US Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Egypt. It is his first stop on a Middle East tour that includes Israel and Jordan.
Pence will be looking to reaffirm relations with key US allies and communicate a clear direction for future US foreign policy. For Egypt and Jordan, the trip presents a dilemma for its leaders, who wish to continue strengthening their ties with the US, but not appear ignorant of Palestinian misgivings towards current US policy. In Cairo, despite conflicting differences on certain issues, el-Sisi will show little willingness to diminish the historic alliance.
Expect a continued period of uncertainty regarding aspects of US foreign policy in the Middle East; however, the VP’s visit is likely to mark a turning point compared to past US policy. As such, while no new policy announcements are expected, tensions in the region are likely to remain high in the long-term, especially considering the VP’s visit to Jerusalem in the coming days.
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Kai looks at security and political turbulence in the emerging market economies and also serves as a publisher with The Daily Brief.