Crown Prince of Saudi Arabian Kingdom Mohamed bin Salman (L) and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (R) in Cairo in 2015- Press Photo
CAIRO – 3 March 2018: Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is expected to arrive in Cairo on Sunday in his first official foreign trip since being inaugurated as a Crown Prince to the Saudi Kingdom in June 2017. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will receive the Crown Prince in Cairo for a three-day visit.
In December, Sisi received a phone call from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, where they discussed bilateral ties and mutual cooperation between both states.
Sisi and Mohamed bin Salman met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China in September 2016, following a historic visit to Cairo by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz in April. Both leaders discussed stepping up cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia across all fields, and continued consultation and coordination on various regional and international issues to enhance joint Arab action.
The Crown Prince’s second foreign trip will be paid to the United Kingdom on March 7 to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May, prior to his visit to the United States on March 19 to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump.
The arrangement of the first three foreign trips by the Saudi Crown Prince reflects the priority of Saudi foreign diplomacy in the next phase. Bin Salman is scheduled to meet with Sisi to discuss issues of mutual interest, the latest developments in the Arab region and the enhancement of bilateral relations in different fields.
Egypt welcomes Saudi Crown Prince’s visit warmly
The Egyptian presidency issued a statement on Friday welcoming the visit and describing bin Salman as a “dear guest in his second home, Egypt, for three days.”
On Thursday, Cairo International Airport received a number of Saudi officials preparing for the visit of bin Salman that is due on Sunday. The delegation preparing for bin Salman’s visit to Egypt is the second Saudi delegation to arrive in Cairo. It was received by a number of employees at the Saudi Embassy in Cairo.
Sisi and bin Salman tackle key issues in the region
Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi revealed to Egypt Today that Sisi and bin Salman will tackle the Jerusalem crisis and the American moves to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. Both leaders will also discuss the recent developments in Yemen and Syria, as well as the Arab quartet’s boycott of Qatar since June 2017.
The transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem violates U.N. resolutions no. 476 and 478 of 1980, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit pointed out, stressing that all Arab countries are determined to stand up to repercussions of this provocative decision.
On March 23, the 29th Arab League Summit in Riyadh is expected to take place amid speculations of a postponement of the summit because of the Arab boycott of Qatar.
On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut their diplomatic ties with the Gulf state of Qatar over its crystal-clear support to terrorist groups, extremists and Iran. For its part, Doha denied the charges. Doha insists on backing terrorism and interfering in the Arab quartet’s domestic affairs, and this is deemed a key obstacle impeding a resolution to the current dilemma between the Arab quartet and Qatar, according to Arab columnist Youssef Ayoub.
Moreover, the participation of Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Riyadh’s summit deems a real impasse, as the Saudi rulers would not accept the presence of the Qatari emir in Saudi territory before an official acceptance and approval of the Arab quartet’s fourteen principles.
As a member state of the Arab League, Saudi Arabia has to send an official invitation to Qatar to attend the Arab Summit in Riyadh, against the kingdom’s political will. Ayoub revealed that Qatar will never hesitate to attend the summit, saying, “Saudi Arabia is in a deep mess, as it can never prevent Qatari participation in the Arab Summit.”
Political observers believe that freezing Qatar’s membership in the Arab League may be a solution to prevent a Saudi political and diplomatic violation that may be committed if the Saudi side seeks to prevent Qatar’s participation in the upcoming summit in Riyadh.