Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz - Press photo
CAIRO – 23 April 2017: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday in an effort to strengthen bilateral ties.
The visit comes after months of tension between Egypt and Saudi Arabia; Saudi king, Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, invited Sisi to visit Saudi Arabia on the sidelines of the 27th Arab Summit that took place March 30 in Jordan.
The meeting is expected to firmly focus on tackling divergent points 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 ahead of the visit said, “The meeting affirms the two countries’ keenness to preserve and strengthen mutual relations in various fields.”
Tension between the two countries has been rising since October 2016; Egypt voted in favor of a Russian-drafted UN Security Council resolution that allows the bombing over Aleppo to be resumed.
The move was labeled by Saudi envoy to the UN, Abdullah al-Mouallami as “painful”, unexpectedly coming from Egypt.
Further tension sparked out after discordant verdicts by Egyptian judiciary regarding the transfer of the two Red Sea islands, namely Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia.
The flurry of events threatens to cut Saudi Arabia’s financial aid to Egypt. The Saudi kingdom has been supporting Egypt with billions of dollars since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.