President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (L) and King Salman (R) meeting in Riadh - Press Photo
CAIRO – 23 April 2017:
After months at odd, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with the Saudi monarch King Salman bin Abdul Aziz in Riyadh on Sunday, according to a presidential statement.
In a public show of good relations, the Saudi monarch received Sisi and the accompanied Egyptian delegation at the King Salman Airbase before heading to the Royal Court.
King Salman receives President Sisi - Youm7
Governor of Riyadh Prince Faisal bin Bandar, Minister of State and Cabinet member Essam bin Saad, Saudi Ambassador to Egypt Ahmad Qattan and Egyptian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Nasser Hamdi were at the airbase.
Presidential Spokesperson Alaa Youssef said King Salman, during the meeting, confirmed deep relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He also stressed on the kingdom’s support to Egypt, especially in its fight against terrorism.
The two sides agreed that the current period requires more coordination of efforts and dialogues to eliminate the terrorism phenomenon that is rapidly becoming a threat to the whole world.
Various regional and international issues of common concern were discussed during the meeting. The meeting also focused on the necessity of boosting and developing relations between the two countries in different fields.
The two leaders agreed on the importance of enforcing cooperation and solidarity between Arab countries in order to stand united in the face of challenges and crises that face the Arab nation, a move that would restore security and stability in these countries. Moreover, they both saw eye-to-eye on necessity to confront any all attempts to interfere in internal affairs of the Arab region.
The primary aim of the two-day visit is to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries after months of tensions.
President Sisi invited the Saudi king to visit Egypt, an invitation that King Salman gladly welcomed, as he promised to visit Egypt at the earliest opportunity.
King Salman made a four-day visit to Egypt last April and committed additional funds to aid Egypt with the economic crisis that exacerbated since the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi.
The Two Holy Mosques Custodian invited Sisi to visit Saudi Arabia on the sidelines of the 27th Arab Summit that took place March 30 in Jordan.
Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said the summit comes as an opportunity to discuss regional and international developments and concerns, the US policy under Donald Trump’s administration, and the situation in Syria, Yemen and Libya.
Tension between the two countries have been rising since October 2016; Egypt voted in favor of a Russian-drafted UN Security Council resolution that allows bombing over Aleppo to be resumed; a move that was labeled by Saudi envoy to the UN, Abdullah al-Muallami as “painful”, unexpectedly coming from Egypt.
Further tensions have 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 financial aid to Egypt. The Saudi kingdom has been supporting Egypt with billions of dollars since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.