Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (R) takes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) on tour of Suez Canal projects is Ismailia (Photo Screenshot of live coverage of Extra News/State TV)
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi provided Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with an inspection tour of several national projects on the Suez Canal on Monday, highlighting works completed during the Egyptian leader's four-year tenure.
The two men, accompanied by a number of Egyptian and Saudi ministers, arrived at Ismailia governorate, where they were presented with updates on several national projects in the area, including the new Suez Canal waterway, which was inaugurated in August 2015, and tunnels beneath the East Suez Canal development zone in northern Ismailia.
Mohab Mamish, head of the Suez Canal Authority, provided information on the projects, highlighting investment opportunities in the Suez Canal Special Economic Zone (SCZone).
He also praised the crown prince’s NEOM project, involving the creation of a huge transnational city and economic zone. Covering 26,500-square kilometres in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, NEOM is the latest and most extraordinary in a slate of privatisation programmes from Saudi Arabia, led by the floating of Aramco.
Adjacent to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba and near maritime trade routes that use the Suez Canal, the zone will serve as a gateway to the proposed King Salman Bridge, which will link Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Monday’s visit comes one day after the Saudi crown prince arrived in Egypt for his first foreign visit since assuming his current title.
On Sunday, El-Sisi and Bin Salman witnessed the inking of a number of deals, including the launch of a Saudi-Egyptian investment fund between the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation.
Sunday’s meeting also included political discussions, during which the Egyptian president reaffirmed that "the security of the Gulf is an integral part of Egyptian national security”, according to Egypt’s presidency spokesman Bassam Rady.
After his visit to Egypt, Bin Salman will head to the United Kingdom on 7 March and to the United States on 19 March.