Hatim Khan – 05.03.2018 The Saudi Crown Prince has landed in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Sunday, where he shall stay for two days. This is the first time that the Saudi Prince has left Saudi Arabia on an official visit since becoming the first in line to the throne, last June.
The ties between the 2 Countries have strengthened since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt came in power back in 2013 after ousting Muhammed Mursi. Sisi’s government had sided with Saudi Arabia’s decision to implement a total diplomatic and trade boycott of Qatar last year due to their alleged links with extremist groups and as well as their growing ties with Iran. Saudi Arabia is also known to provide billions in aid to Cairo, mainly in an effort to improve its economy. Egypt also ratified a deal last year that was signed back in 2015 to transfer two of its islands to Saudi Arabia.
The purpose of Prince Muhammad’s visit is to bolster ties between the two key regional allies. Following the bilateral summit that took place on Sunday in Ittihadeya Presidential Palace, Bassam Rady, the spokesperson to Egypt’s President said, “President Sisi expressed Egypt's keenness to enhance bilateral cooperation with Saudi Arabia in all fields”. Rady further added that the visit by the Crown Prince will especially improve economic ties through initiating new joint projects "particularly in the field of tourism investment in Egypt's Red Sea region". Furthermore, the Saudi state television also reported that during the 2 day stay at Cairo, the Prince will be signing a number of agreements. Over the past day, both the sides have also shown their willingness to continue to cooperate in the field of security.
Since the visit comes a few weeks before the Egyptian elections it would not be wrong to assume that the arrival of the Saudi Prince is to indicate Saudi support of the current Egyptian leader.
Following his short two-day visit to Egypt the Prince is scheduled to leave for Britain on Wednesday and then to the United States on the 19th of this month.