An Egyptian billionaire declared on Monday that between former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump, it is “definitely President Trump” who is properly handling U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.
In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Naguib Sawiris said, “I think what we’re seeing today is the product of Obama’s rule.” Sawiris contended that Russia has gained ground in Syria as a result of inaction by the Obama administration, which also allowed extremists to thrive in the Middle East.
“I’m not saying you should police the world, but you can’t let evil thrive and say, ‘It’s none of my business.’ So I believe President Trump is on the right track,” Sawiris said.
In 2012, the Obama administration threatened retaliation if Syria’s Bashar Assad used chemical weapons in the civil war in his country. The following year, Assad’s regime used chemical weapons to kill hundreds of civilians in the town of Ghouta, but the U.S. declined to respond with military force.
Sawiris previously said that he was not opposed to Trump’s decision to order a military strike on Syria, although he contended that there is no impending end to the war.
After amassing a net worth of $4.2 billion, mainly in the telecommunications industry, Sawiris said he prefers investing in democracies in order to avoid being at the mercy of political rulers.
Sawiris has made an exception with North Korea, in which he has invested approximately $250 million. Orascom Telcom, Sawiris’ company, holds the sole telecommunications license in North Korea.
“I always think you should punish regimes but not the people of the regime,” he said. “And from an investment perspective, there’s also a lot of sense in there. When they, North Korea and South Korea, unite or come to an agreement, my assets there would be worth billions.”