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Egypt, Saudis vow anti-terror coordination

Cairo, Riyadh agree on standing against terror-sponsoring countries

Image Credit: Courtesy: Egypt foreign ministry
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir (left) and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri meet in Cairo on Sunday.
Gulf News

Cairo: Egypt and Saudi Arabia have pledged to boost their cooperation against terrorism and militancy, in a sign of further rapport between the two regional powers.

The pledge was jointly voiced by foreign ministers of both countries following their talks in Cairo late Sunday.

“There is complete security and military cooperation between the two countries,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said at a press conference joined by his Saudi counterpart Adel Al Jubeir.

“There is concurrence on the importance of working within an all-out formula against terrorism that is aimed at all militant groups, drying up sources of their financing and speaking in one voice with our partners in the international organisations against these phenomena that threaten the region,” Shoukri added.

In recent years, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have experienced deadly militant attacks, some of them were claimed by terrorist Daesh.

Shoukri said that he agreed with Al Jubeir on coordination to stop countries that he did not name from “sponsoring and financing” terrorist groups.

His remarks came hours before Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen severed diplomatic ties with Qatar whom they accused of supporting terrorist groups.

Al Jubeir voiced his country’s keenness on “intensifying regional and international efforts” against terrorism.

“Saudi Arabia and Egypt are interested in confronting all forms of terrorism,” the Saudi official told the same press conference.

“Saudi Arabia is working to enhance relations with Egypt, especially in the field of combating terrorism,” Al Jubeir said.

Al Jubeir’s Sunday visit to Egypt was his first to the country in more than a year. He previously accompanied Saudi King Salman in a trip to Cairo in April 2016.

“US President Donald Trump’s presence in the Arab-Islamic-American summit reflected his country’s interest in intensifying anti-terror efforts and promoting principles of tolerance and co-existence,” Al Jubar said late Sunday, referring to a high-profile gathering held in the Saudi capital Riyadh last month.

Leaders of around 50 Arab and Muslim countries attended the conference.

“This summit was historic because it made the issue of terrorism confrontation an international partnership.”

Al Jubeir also alluded to the opening of a global anti-radicalism centre during Trump’s May 20-21 visit to Saudi Arabia.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi attended the Riyadh meeting and the launch of the anti-extremism think tank.

In a comment on talks between Shoukri and Al Jubeir, Al Ahram, Egypt’s flagship state-run newspaper, said Cairo and Riyadh share a “convergence on adopting a comprehensive vision” against all militant groups.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia have outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egyptian authorities have blamed for a string of deadly attacks since the army’s 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi following enormous protests against his divisive rule.

Relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia have recently thrived after a brief rift reportedly over conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

A potent sign of a thaw came in late March when Al Sissi and Salman held a one-on-one meeting on the fringe of an Arab League summit in Jordan.

Saudi Arabia has been a key financial and diplomatic backer to Egypt since Mursi’s ouster.