Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called the leaders of Gulf Arab states to reassure them of strong Egyptian-Gulf ties after a leaked audio recording that purports to show him and senior aides being derisive of their rich Gulf donors. Mekameleen, a pro-Islamist
TV channel that aired the tape at the weekend, ran subtitles to identify the detailed conversations heard as being between Sisi and two of his senior staff on how to get Gulf states to funnel them more money. The last conversation suggested it had occurred before Sisi became president in 2014. The phone calls that Sisi made to the Saudi and Bahraini kings, the Abu Dhabi crown prince, and the Kuwaiti emir suggest the significance the Egyptian leader places on his relationship with them, as it is crucial to rebuilding an Egyptian economy laid low by years of political turmoil and Islamist militancy.