19 March 2018
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  • » 03/05/2018, 09.32


    Economy and military cooperation: Mohammed bin Salman strengthens ties with Egypt

    The Saudi hereditary prince is in Cairo, for the first trip abroad since his ascent to power. He will also fly to Britain and the United States. A 10 billion dollar fund for the development of a megalopolis in southern Sinai. Egypt "gives" disputed Red Sea islands to Riyadh.

    Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Saudi hereditary prince Mohammed bin Salman (Mbs), number two after King Salman and the country’s power broker, landed yesterday afternoon in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, for the first diplomatic trip abroad since his ascent to power. During this first stage in the land of the pharaohs he will meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, today a key ally in the region after years of divisions between the two nations.

    In addition to Egypt, the Saudi leader’s diplomatic tour will also touch Great Britain on March 7th and, later, the United States.

    In these hours, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have created a 10 billion dollar mutual fund, aimed at developing a megalopolis of over 1000 square kilometers in the southern Sinai.

    From 2013, concurrent with the rise to power of President al-Sisi – who is seeking a second term in the elections scheduled for the end of the month - Riyadh and Cairo have strengthened economic, trade and diplomatic ties. Since the banning of the Muslim Brotherhood (which both countries consider a terrorist group) to investments in economic matters, there are many issues that unite the current leaders in power.

    The billions made available by the Saudi kingdom underscore, once again, the deep bond that unites the richest nation in the Arab world - and guide of Sunni Islam - with the most populous Muslim country in the Middle East and North Africa. A bond that is also military, considering Cairo’s support of Riyadh in the fight against the Houthi rebels (Shiite) in Yemen and the adherence to the boycott promoted by the Gulf States against Qatar.

    Meanwhile, over the weekend, the Egyptian judiciary has in fact served a welcome gift to the Saudi hereditary prince. In an unprecedented sentence, and annulling all the previous verdicts of the judges, the Constitutional Court has effectively ratified the controversial passage of the two disputed islands (Tiran and Sanafir in the Red Sea, of strategic importance) to Riyadh.

    The delivery of the islands could take place in these days, during Mohammed Bin Salman’s visit.

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    See also

    24/04/2017 09:12:00 SAUDI ARABIA - EGYPT
    Al-Sisi meets King Salman to relaunch relations between Cairo and Riyadh

    Tensions shelved, the Egyptian president receives a warm welcome when he arrives in the Saudi capital. The two leaders speak of "strong and fraternal" bonds and intention to "strengthen strategic relations". In addition to the economy, the unresolved knots of the fight against terrorism and control of the controversial islands.

    31/07/2015 EGYPT – SAUDI ARABIA
    Cairo and Riyadh to develop military and economic relations
    "The two sides stressed the need to exert all efforts to boost security and stability in the region, and to work together to protect Arab national security," including an Arab military force, the ‘Cairo Declaration’ states.

    03/04/2017 10:23:00 EGYPT - SAUDI ARABIA
    Egyptian Court unblocks transfer of disputed islands to Saudi Arabia

    The judges reject administrative court decision issued last January. At the center of the dispute control of Tiran and Sanafir islands, on the Red Sea. Uninhabited and desert, they have enormous strategic value for the control of navigation in the Red Sea. The Parliament will take a final decision on the matter.


    04/03/2009 EGYPT - SAUDI ARABIA
    Saudi minister calls for joint strategy to confront "Iranian challenge"
    Iran's nuclear program is a threat for the entire Middle East. The concerns of the Arab League over the possible openness of the U.S. government to talks with Tehran. Secretary Clinton reassures Arab partners and promises in-depth consultations.

    18/01/2017 15:43:00 EGYPT – SAUDI ARABIA
    Court stops islands handover to the Saudis, prompting nationalists to exult

    Egypt’s High Administrative Court ruled that Tiran and Sanafir islands are Egyptian. The decision unleashed celebrations in the courtroom, with lawyers and patriots hugging each other. Once allies, Cairo and Riyadh are further apart with Egypt moving closer to Russian, Syrian and Iranian positions in the Middle East.

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