After months of tension, Egyptian-Saudi summit raises hopes, anticipations



Sat, 22 Apr 2017 - 12:04 GMT


Sat, 22 Apr 2017 - 12:04 GMT

President Sisi's visit to the Saudi kingdom on Sunday likely to ameliorate mutual ties - Archive

President Sisi's visit to the Saudi kingdom on Sunday likely to ameliorate mutual ties - Archive

CAIRO – 22 April 2017: After months of tensions between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi will start an official visit to the Saudi Kingdom on Sunday.

The meeting is expected to focus on tackling different matters between the two countries, means of restoring and boosting ties and a number of regional issues, especially combating terrorism.

A statement released by the Egyptian presidency said the meeting affirms the two countries’ keenness to preserve and strengthen mutual relations in various fields.

President Sisi met the Saudi king, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, on the sidelines of the 27th Arab Summit that took place on 30 March in Jordan, where Salman invited Sisi to visit Saudi Arabia.

The highly anticipated meeting is deemed inevitable as tension between the two countries have been rising since October 2016.

In October 2016, Egypt voted in favor of a Russian-drafted UN Security Council resolution that called for a ceasefire in Aleppo but did not explicitly mentioned a halt in airs trikes, a move that was labeled as “painful”, according to Saudi envoy to the UN, Abdullah al-Muallami.

Saudi state oil company Aramco suspended delivering Egypt petroleum products two days following the vote.

The tension that sparked out of this came after discordant verdicts by Egyptian judiciary regarding the transfer of the two Red Sea islands, namely Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia.

“This meeting will have a positive impact on boosting relations and cooperation to resolve crises in Syria, Iraq and Yemen,” said Gamal Mahfouz, member of the Parliament’s Arab Affairs Committee.

Mahfouz confirmed the Egyptian-Saudi ability to contribute in addressing and solving issues emerging in Arab countries, considering their notable status and history.

Deputy Chairman of Egyptian Parliament’s Planning and Budget Committee, Yasser Omar, stressed that the “anticipated” summit confirms a return of Egyptian-Saudi relations.

Omar said the meeting will have a discussion about the two Red Sea islands in prospect.

The flurry of events threatens to cut Saudi Arabia support to Egypt. The Saudi kingdom has been supporting Egypt with billions of dollars since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Alaa Wali, head of Parliament’s Housing Committee, said the visit coincides with growing tensions regarding an increase in terror attacks worldwide. He hoped for a coalition between the two countries to crack down on terrorist groups and their supporters.

Additional reporting by Iman Ali, Samar Salama and Mustafa al-Sayed



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