Published: Mon, March 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

New era of economic ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia

New era of economic ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday received Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the capital Cairo.

Sisi said the security of Gulf countries is closely related to Egypt's national security.

The countries signed agreements to "activate" a 60 billion Saudi riyal ($16 billion) investment fund they agreed to set up in 2016, and another deal on environmental protection, at a short televised ceremony attended by the two leaders.

They also agreed on continuing to work together to counter regional interventions and attempts to sow division and rifts among the region's countries.

Egypt and Saudi have strengthened ties since Sisi took power after ousting the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.

It is expected that issues regarding the upcoming Arab summit in Saudi Arabia in March will also be discussed.

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"The meeting [also] covered ways to enhance economic and investment relations between both countries, especially in the field of tourism investment in Egypt's Red Sea region", the statement added.

Egypt's constitutional court on Saturday voided contradictory lower court rulings on the controversial transfer of two islands to Saudi Arabia, state media reported.

A few months later, the Egyptian parliament, along with al-Sisi, ratified the deal.

The crown prince is scheduled to leave Egypt to Britain on March 7 and later visit the United States, the kingdom's closest and strongest Western ally.

But it is among a bloc of Arab nations that joined a Saudi-led boycott since June of Qatar.

Experts said that the jets accompanying the Saudi royal airplane signaled Egypt's view of the significance of Bin Salman's trip to Egypt and marked the beginning of his maiden foreign trip as the kingdom's crown prince.

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