Speaking on KPCC Airtalk, Carnegie’s Marwan Muasher said that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is probably the last leader of stature in the Arab world that belongs to the old generation. With his death, the mantle will be passed to a younger generation, one that does not have his leadership qualities, he continued. Today in the Arab world, there is a vacuum of leadership—it is a new era, one that still has unknown repercussions.
With the Houthi takeover of Sanaa, Yemen, the Saudis are particularly concerned with the growing Shia presence. Yemen will also continue to face a number of difficulties, such as the large presence of al-Qaeda, problems between the south and north, and the economy, which has been an issue for quite some time, Muasher added.
In regards to Egypt, he argued that the Egyptians need to realize that they have to rule in a more inclusionist manner, in the way that the Tunisians have done. Sisi will not be as popular as he is now, Muasher said, if he’s not able to address the structural issues in a meaningful way rather than in an ad-hoc manner.