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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Sisi and King Salman exchange invitations to respective countries during Jordan meeting

Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 Mar 2017
Egypt
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (R) and King Salman of Saudi Arabia shake hands during the reception ceremony in the Egyptian Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt April 7, 2016 in this file handout courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency Reuters
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Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi held talks with Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Wednesday on the sidelines of this year’s Arab League summit in Jordan, with the two leaders exchanging invitations to visit one another's countries.

The two leaders discussed "means to bolster strategic ties between both countries… and strengthen cooperation …in light of the challenges facing the two countries," a statement by El-Sisi's office said.

They said that the two countries look to "bolster their relationship in all fields in a way that reflects the historical ties [between Egypt and Saudi Arabia]."

The two leaders agreed to work side by side with all Arab countries to put into effect the measures expected to be adopted during the summit to address the challenges facing the region.

The pair met in April 2016 during a visit by Salman to Cairo, during which they agreed on the transfer to Saudi Arabia of two Red Sea islands under Egyptian control.

In January, an Egyptian court struck down the controversial deal to transfer the islands, with the backlash within Egypt against the agreement reportedly causing tension between the two countries.

Some reports have suggested that the two countries have also quarrelled over differing positions on the Syrian civil war.

However, officials from both countries have repeatedly emphasised the close ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, denying the existence of tensions or disagreements.

There has been speculation that the alleged row over Syria stems from Riyadh's conviction that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad must be removed to put an end to the country's six-year civil war, while Cairo advocates a political solution that denies Islamist militants any future role in Syria.

Riyadh has been a key backer of President El-Sisi since he came to office in 2014.

Saudi Arabia was one of several Gulf countries that showered El-Sisi's government with billions of dollars in aid after his election.

The kingdom has also contributed with investments and deposits to prop up Egypt’s ailing economy, but suspended petroleum supplies in September amid growing differences. In March Saudi Arabian state oil company Aramco resumed oil product shipments to Egypt.

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