Egypt President meets Saudi King Salman for talks on bilateral ties
RIYADH - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Sunday to discuss and promote bilateral ties between both countries, state media reported.
King Salman greeted el-Sissi at Riyadh's airport upon his arrival Sunday afternoon. The Egyptian president was last in Saudi Arabia in January following the death of his close ally, King Abdullah.
Sisi aims to discuss the situation in Yemen and ongoing threats in the Middle East. The visit comes ahead of the Economic Summit in March to encourage businesses to invest in the Egyptian economy.
“The relationship between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and Egypt and its brothers in the Gulf, has been strong and stable for years,” said Sisi, in an exclusive interview by Al-Arabiya News channel.
During the interview, Sisi reinforced the need for a joint Arab force, “not for attacking, but for defending the security of our countries”.
He also clarified that his presence in Saudi Arabia at the same time with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the Kingdom is a mere “coincidence”.
Taha Sayed Taha, Former Deputy to the Head of the Military Jurisdiction, said that Saudi Arabia has always been “the first to calm the situation between Egypt and Qatar”.
He believes that the meeting may include attempts to shed light on the key points in the relationship between both countries [Egypt and Qatar].
Since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Saudi Arabia has been a strong backer of Egypt, both financially and morally.
The Gulf kingdom, a longtime critic of the Muslim Brotherhood, formally declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in March 2014.
Under Abdullah, Saudi Arabia gave billions of dollars in aid to boost Sisi's government. The kingdom is also a key organizer of the investment conference scheduled later this month.