Tags: Saudi | king | Egypt president

Saudi King Visits New Egyptian President

Friday, 20 Jun 2014 05:02 PM

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah stopped in Cairo late on Friday to meet with Egypt's new president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to show his strong support through a symbolic but brief visit.

The 90-year-old monarch, on his way home from Morocco, did not leave his plane, which was on the ground at Cairo airport for just over an hour. Sisi and his delegation were on board for just over 30 minutes.

Abdullah's advanced age and frail health mean he rarely travels on state business, so even the short visit was a clear sign of how he has positioned himself as Sisi's leading Arab ally.

Egypt's official news agency reported that the talks covered the importance of the two nations working together to address regional challenges, a sign of how the Gulf monarchy sees Cairo as a crucial partner against the rapid rise of Islamic extremism.

Through phone calls to Sisi, donations of cash and oil products, supportive statements and his visit to Cairo, Abdullah has made clear his approval of the former army chief as president.

Abdullah is the first foreign leader to visit Sisi since he took office less than two weeks ago to a cooler reception from Western governments concerned by a crackdown on dissent.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, and its wealthy Gulf Arab partners Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, have given more than $20 billion to help Egypt since Sisi ousted Islamist President Mohammad Morsi last July. They are likely to pledge more aid.

Analysts say Saudi Arabia wants Egypt to be a bulwark against Islamists, as conflicts rage in Iraq and Syria that could alter regional alliances and national borders.

Egypt's state news agency MENA reported that the talks covered Iraq, Syria, and Libya, and "the importance of coordination and joint action between the two countries to meet the challenges prevailing in the region."

 

Sisi has not spoken publicly about the Iraq crisis since it erupted days after his inauguration.


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MiddleEast
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah stopped in Cairo late on Friday to meet with Egypt's new president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to show his strong support through a symbolic but brief visit.
Saudi, king, Egypt president
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2014-02-20
Friday, 20 Jun 2014 05:02 PM
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