The Saturday verdict acquitting former President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak of murder and corruption charges vindicates the Saudi Arabian strategy that opposed the ouster of the kingdom’s most important ally in 2011 and supported the removal of his successor in 2013 by the military, international think tank Brookings Institution said.
“The Saudi royal family undoubtedly welcomed the decision to drop the charges against Hosni Mubarak as a vindication of their strategy to reverse the 2011 revolution in Egypt and restore authoritarian military rule over their most important Arab ally,” said Bruce Riedel, director of Brooking’s Intelligence Project.
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz voiced outspoken support for Mubarak hours after the 2011 uprising broke out against his rule. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people and government declares it stands with all its resources with the government of Egypt and its people,” he said in a statement on 29 January.
Saudi Arabia was one major financial and political supporter of Egypt following the ouster of Morsy, providing a total of aides worth of nearly US$5 billion during fiscal year 2013\2014.
According to Riedel, Morsy’s removal by the military in 2013 “reversed the momentum of the Arab Spring” and “reduced the danger of unrest inside the Kingdom by terminating a dangerous role model.”
“Of course the Saudis now own the burden of keeping the generals in office, an expensive proposition especially when oil prices are dropping,” he said.