Five days that changed the face of the region

This is not just an important visit but the most important meeting between two Arab leaders...

Turki Aldakhil
Turki Aldakhil
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“The announcement to build the King Salman Bridge between Saudi Arabia and Egypt is the most important Arab decision since World War II.” This was the message I received from an Algerian colleague on Saudi Arabia’s King Salman’s visit to Egypt.

This is not just an important visit but the most important meeting between two Arab leaders as several significant decisions have been made.

The Saudi delegation accompanying King Salman on his five-day visit to Egypt included Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 14 ministers, six high-ranking officials and more than 20 princes.

The decisions taken included demarcating the maritime borders. More than 20 agreements have been reached apart from the projects which will involve both the government and the private sector.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt are the Arab nation’s two poles. They unify and bring Arab countries together thus pleasing friends and displeasing enemies

Turki Al-Dakhil

During his visit, the Saudi king also addressed the Egyptian parliament, visited al-Azhar University and met with Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II.

Regional support

Most of these Saudi-Egyptian agreements were reached in the presence of Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed, the United Arab Emirates’ national security advisor, and Marzouq al-Ghanim, the speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly. This demonstrates that Gulf countries stand with Riyadh in support of Egypt.

The efforts made by the Saudi-Egyptian coordination council have yielded results in this longest visit of a Saudi king to a country. This visit has also been the most important in the region’s history.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt are the Arab nation’s two poles. They unify and bring Arab countries together thus pleasing friends and displeasing enemies. To show how valuable Egypt is to the Saudis, it is enough to recall King Salman’s tweet upon his arrival to Cairo.

“Egypt has a special place in my heart. We, in the Saudi Kingdom, are proud of it and of our strategic relationship which is significant to the Arab and Muslim worlds. May God protect Egypt and its people,” he said.

This article was first published by Okaz on Apr. 11, 2016.
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Turki Al-Dakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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