No tension in relations with Saudi Arabia: Egypt's FM Shoukry

Ahram Online , Wednesday 8 Feb 2017

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (L) and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz reviewing troops before a meeting in the capital Cairo on April 7, 2016 (Photo: AFP)

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Wednesday that Egypt's relations with Saudi Arabia are deeply rooted and do not require mediation of any kind, dismissing claims of strained ties between Cairo and Riyadh. 

Shoukry's statement came during a press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman El-Safady, while the Egypt FM visits Amman to deliver a message from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to King Abdullah II.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister emphasised that communication channels between Cairo and Riyadh had never closed, saying that both countries had been able to carry on with positive relations.
Egypt's relations with Saudi Arabia, a major ally and source of financial support, witnessed a rocky period in the last year.
A bilateral maritime border agreement -- known in the media as the Red Sea Island deal -- which would have placed the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir under Saudi Arabian sovereignty caused controversy in Egypt when it was announced last April. 
The deal has stalled in the face of court challenges.
In January, Egypt's High Administrative Court rejected a government appeal to allow the deal to be implemented, affirming Egyptian sovereignty over the two islands.
In November 2016, Saudi national oil company Aramco informed Cairo that it had suspended oil shipments to Egypt until further notice “without specyfying a reason,” according to Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla.
Saudi Arabia has supported the Egyptian economy with billions of dollars in loans, grants, oil products and cash deposits since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.


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