Egypt emphasizes ‘special ties’ with Saudi

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrives for a working dinner with heads of delegations for the Nuclear Security Summit at the White House in Washington March 31, 2016. (Reuters)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has emphasized the importance of Saudi King Salman’s visit to Cairo and spoke of the “special relationship” between the two countries in an interview with Al Arabiya News Channel.

“Some media circles have been doubting the strength of our relationship but I am in constant communication with my Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir who has assured that ties remain strong,” Shoukry told Al Arabiya.

Shoukry added that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have coordinated efforts in combatting multiple issues, especially on security.

The rare foreign trip by the Saudi king will counter media commentary in both countries of discord between the richest Arab state and the most populous, to show Riyadh still backs Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

“The Saudis are very keen not to allow Egypt to collapse, but at the same time the Saudis cannot pay forever. I think King Salman will try to explain these issues,” said Mustafa Alani, a security analyst with close ties to the kingdom’s Interior Ministry.

Saudi Arabia is set to sign a $20 billion deal to finance Egypt’s petroleum needs for the next five years and a $1.5 billion deal to develop its Sinai region.

On the recent murder issue of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo, Shoukry said that Egyptian authorities have been transparent in their investigation with their Italian counterparts by working alongside Italian investigators.

Egypt is planning on sending a delegation of their own to Italy for further investigations.

(With Reuters)

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Last Update: 06:48 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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