Common Interests Between Riyadh, Cairo Reinforce Historical Ties

Common Interests Between Riyadh, Cairo Reinforce Historical Ties

Tuesday, 6 March, 2018 - 12:00
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Egyptian Opera House, attends theater performance with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (SPA)
Riyadh, Cairo- Abdullah Al Haidah and Asharq Al Awsat
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recent visit to Egypt this week was a sign that Riyadh and Cairo have maintained close ties, which date back to 1926.

Ambassador El Sayed Amin Shalaby, the Executive Director of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA), said that in light of the difficult situation in the Arab world, “the overall Arab situation imposes on the two major powers in the region, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the need for constant and continuous coordination and consultation."

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Shalaby said: “the current phase in Saudi Arabia, in which Prince Mohammed bin Salman oversees new political and developmental projects, such as Neom and Saudi Vision 2030, in addition to the striking cultural trends, make it important for Egypt and Saudi Arabia to continue to work to achieve the interests of both countries.”

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Egypt date back to 1926, when the two countries signed a Friendship Treaty, followed by a common Defense Treaty in 1955.

The Kingdom had also backed Egypt in the October 1973 War, when the Saudi leadership covered a major part of the pre-war expenses and launched the petrol battle in support of the country, according to Egypt’s General Information Authority.

According to Political Advisor Dr. Salma Al-Fadl, the $10 billion joint projects between Riyadh and Cairo will enhance the developmental, political and security aspects of the Red Sea.

Fadl told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Saudi-Egyptian cooperation would achieve a great development in the Sinai communities and would close all the doors that terrorist organizations have used to enter the region, such as unemployment and lack of development.

Such cooperation will strengthen the economic factors capable of bringing about broad social changes, according to the political advisor.

The Egyptian ministry of industry and commerce said that in 2017, the volume of trade with Saudi Arabia reached $2.1 billion, Saudi investments in Egypt amounted to about $6 billion, while it estimated Egyptian investments in the Kingdom at around $1 billion.

The head of the Egyptian side of the Egyptian-Saudi Business Council, Abdul Hamid Abu Moussa, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Kingdom “represents the largest Arab investor in Egypt and it ranks second among the largest international investors in Cairo.”

Abu Moussa described the Egyptian-Saudi relations as “distinct”, pointing out that cooperation between the two countries would strengthen their position at the regional and international levels.

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