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Leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia meet after months of tension


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CAIRO — The leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia have met within the kingdom amid months of rigidity between the 2 regional powers, officers mentioned Monday.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto chief of Saudi Arabia, held talks late Sunday that targeted on ties between the 2 heavyweights, based on Egyptian presidential spokesman Ahmed Fahmy.

Fahmy mentioned in a press release that the 2 leaders “affirmed mutual concern for selling frequent cooperation in all fields.” In addition they agreed to proceed “coordination and session” on regional and worldwide subjects, he added.

The assertion didn’t give additional particulars. The assembly got here as el-Sissi’s authorities is struggling to beat an financial crises blamed on the battle in Europe, but in addition underneath what critics say is mismanagement of the economic system. It additionally got here as two heavy powers have sought to fix their frayed ties with different regional powers, together with Iran and Turkey.

“I affirm the depth and power of the biliteral relations between Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” el-Sissi tweeted after returning to Egypt early Monday.

Bin Salman, broadly identified within the west by the acronym MBS, acquired el-Sissi within the Saudi coastal metropolis of Jeddah on the Pink Sea. Pictures aired by state-run media within the two nations confirmed the crown prince ready for the Egyptian president on the tarmac.

Different officers from each nations attended the talks, together with Abbas Kamel, head of Egypt’s Common Intelligence Authority, and Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, Saudi nationwide safety adviser, based on the Saudi official information company.

The shock journey was the primary introduced encounter between the 2 leaders since they met in Qatar throughout the opening of the World Cup. El-Sissi additionally acquired bin Salman in Cairo in June 2022 forward of President Joe Biden’s Mideast journey.

Saudi Arabia and different Arab Gulf states have been the principle suppliers of assist to the Egyptian authorities, which has been struggling to beat a staggering financial disaster. In 2022, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates pledged a complete of $22 billion in deposits and direct investments in Egypt, in a bid to stabilize its battered economic system after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nevertheless, in latest months, Saudi Arabia and different Gulf states appeared more and more reluctant to assist cash-strapped Egypt. They urged el-Sissi’s authorities to make financial reforms to obtain assist. Egypt has already begun to make adjustments as a part of a $4 billion take care of the Worldwide Financial Fund.

“We have to see reforms. We’re taxing our individuals. We expect additionally others to do the identical, to do their efforts. We need to assist, however we wish you additionally to do your half,” Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan mentioned on the World Financial Discussion board’s annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, in January.

The veiled criticism to the Egyptian authorities’s dealing with of the economic system has strained ties between Cairo and Riyadh. And an internet spat between public figures within the two nations erupted with an opinion piece in an Egyptian state-owned newspaper in February, which argued that Saudi Arabia and different Gulf states had no proper to criticize the Egyptian authorities’s dealing with of its economic system.

Talking on the World Authorities Summit in Dubai in February, el-Sissi watered down the spat and praised Gulf monarchies for his or her monetary help over the previous years.

“Actuality could also be totally different from what we see within the media or what we hear from politicians … even when it’s politicians who suppose they’re in management,” he mentioned.

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