UAE supports Egypt new President with variety of development projects
ABU DHABI - The UAE promised Monday to keep up its support for Egypt's new leadership after the election as president of ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is backed by several Gulf monarchies.
Sisi's inauguration on Sunday "supports stability in Egypt and the Arab world," UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum was quoted as saying at the weekly cabinet meeting by official news agency WAM.
He said the country would "offer all support and aid to the Egyptian leadership ... to achieve the aspirations of the Egyptian people".
"Egypt must again play its role as a leading Arab nation in the region," he added.
Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the ruler of Dubai, said in a January interview with the BBC he hoped Sisi would not run for the presidency.
But an Emirati government spokesperson immediately tried to tone down Sheikh Mohammed's remarks, stressing the "UAE's respect for will of the Egyptian people".
Since the Egyptian military ousted the freely elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait pledged a combined $12 billion (nine billion euros) to Egypt's faltering economy.
The UAE later pledged another $3.9 billion, and its Arabtec construction company signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a $40 billion project for one million housing units in the Egypt.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who hailed Sisi's election, has called for a donors conference to help Egypt through its economic troubles.
In an interview in May, Sisi said aid from the Gulf amounts to $20 billion.
Saudi Arabia has designated the Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist" organisation, and the UAE has cracked down on Islamist activists on its soil.
Qatar was the only Gulf country to back Morsi and its relations with Saudi Arabia and most of its other Gulf neighbours in the region have been strained since then.