Saudi Arabia and Egypt are firmly in the sights of America's new ban on immigration from several Muslim majority countries.
In an interview with NBC News, President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was asked why Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan were not included in the ban. Citizens of these countries have killed more Americans in terrorist attacks than the seven countries – Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen – already included, the reporter said.
Priebus suggested these countries would be added moving forward.
"Perhaps other countries needed to be added to an executive order going forward," he said, explaining that these seven countries had already been identified by former President Barack Obama's administration and the U.S. congress as "harboring terrorists." This made them quicker and easier to target specifically.
A ban on nationals of the Arab world's most populous county, and its richest is hard to imagine. Saudi Arabia owns $117 billion of US debt.
Including Egypt in the ban would fly in the face of the rapport Trump seems to have with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The two leaders spoke shortly after Trump's inauguration to discuss a future White House visit and fighting terrorism.
After a meeting in New York prior to the election, Sisi said there was "no doubt" that Trump would make a strong leader. Trump returned the praise and promised to be a "a loyal friend, not simply an ally."
Do friends ban friends?
A ban on Saudi citizens would also be a slap in the face to the enthusiasm Riyadh has expressed for the new American head of state. Earlier this month, Adel Al Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, said that the kingdom's interests "align" with those of Trump.
"The objectives we want to achieve are the same," he said. Jubeir explained that Saudi Arabia and Donald Trump's administration may have some disagreements "on how to get there," but they don't disagree on "what needs to be done."
A former Saudi diplomat told The Washington Post in November that most members of the royal family "are happy with the result," saying Saudis "are closer to Republicans psychologically."
Whether or not Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other countries are added to the ban, Trump's executive order has already torn families apart and blocked many refugees looking for safety and security.