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Bobby Ghosh

Egypt’s El-Sisi Suffers a Stunning Reversal of Fortunes

Trump’s “favorite dictator” can’t bank on the U.S. to bail him out.

A friend in need.

A friend in need.

Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

Twelve months ago, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi seemed to be enjoying the best year of his reign. The general-turned-politician was presiding over an economic rebound that had made Egypt the Middle East’s fastest-growing economy and a honeypot for emerging-markets investors. A referendum had just allowed him to remain in office until 2030, making his political position well-nigh impregnable.

And he was enjoying the enthusiastic backing of Egypt’s two most important foreign allies, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia; President Trump thought he was doing “a great job.”