From (R) to (L): President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah - Archive photo
CAIRO - 7 May 2017: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi resumed his Gulf tour, visiting Kuwait Sunday, where he will meet with Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, followed by a visit to Bahrain.
The visit, which is the second by Sisi since he took the office in 2014, will be the third phase of his Gulf tour, after visiting Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in late April and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Wednesday.
The Gulf tour comes amid rough times in the Middle East, where lots of issues are transpiring, including Astana’s agreement to establish safe zones in Syria, the summit between the two wings of Libyan crisis, Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya Fayez al-Sarraj and the dissident army general Khalifa Haftar in Abu Dhabi, the ongoing war in Yemen, and the ongoing dispute between Egypt and KSA over Tiran and Sanafir islands. All these issues raise more questions about the motives behind this tour.
Al-Sisi’s visit to KSA was followed by comments of deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. In a rare televised interview on Saudi channel MBC, bin Salman disavowed claims of disputes between the two countries.
“Relationship between Egypt and Saudi Arabia are solid, strong and deep, they back each other up in every situation,” said bin Salman during the interview that was aired past Tuesday.
Capping off the visit, the deputy crown prince, the top Saudi newspapers, and the columnists praised Sisi’s visit, saying that it’s a testament to the depth and solidity of the relationship between the two countries.
"The notion of deterioration in Egyptian-Saudi relationships is just wishful thinking by people looking for lost fame or fake patriotism," said Saudi columnist Abdel Rahamn al-Tariri in an article published in Okaz newspaper on April 28.
“Sisi’s visit comes at a very critical time in the Arab world,” head of Kuwait House for National Works and founder of “Khalijis for the love of Egypt” union, Yousef al-Amiri told Egypt Today.
Sisi and Sheikh Sabah will discuss the joint efforts in counter-terrorism based on the long history of intelligence and security cooperation history between the two countries and the military training of the country’s respective armies, according to al-Amiri.
“One of the most vital issues that will be addressed is the Egyptian-Kuwaiti summit, since Kuwait is one of the major investors in Egypt,” head of MENA bureau in Kuwait, Sahar el-Beblawy, told Egypt Today.
Investments of Gulf countries in Egypt reached $ 12 billion, according to General Authority for Investment (GAFI).
“We look at Sisi’s visit as an attempt to bridge any ideological gap that might exist between the Egypt and Gulf countries,” said Kuwaiti journalist Ahmed al-Jarallah.
Egypt has issued a long-awaited investment law past Thursday by two-thirds of the parliament. It will offer wide chances for foreign investors to pour their capitals into Egyptian market.