$21.5 bn pacts to be inked during Saudi king’s Egypt visit

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was greeted in Riyadh by King Salman bin Abdulaziz on March 1, 2015 (SPA)

Saudi Arabia is expected 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, two Egyptian government sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

The agreements are tabled to be signed on Thursday during a visit to Cairo by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.

The development deal for Sinai comes at a time when Cairo is fighting a militant insurgency.

The petroleum financing will have an interest rate of 2 percent and a grace period of at least three years, the sources said.

Separately, the deputy head of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council said on Tuesday that Saudi businessmen will invest a total of $4 billion in projects including the Suez Canal, energy and agriculture, and had already deposited 10 percent of that sum in Egyptian banks.

They will complete 25 percent within three months, Abdallah Bin Mahfouz said in a statement.

The investments will also cover projects in imports and exports, and the medical sector.

Since 2013, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait have given Cairo around $35 billion in aid in the form of oil shipments, cash grants and deposits into the central bank.

Agreements to cooperate more closely on a range of issues, from the armed forces to the economy, will be announced during the King’s visit.

“This is an historic visit,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir at a news conference in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50