Cairo: Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi arrived today in Riyadh for talks with the Saudi leaders as both Arab regional powers maintain close links.
The Egyptian leader was welcomed at the King Khalid Airport in Riyadh by Saudi Crown Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.
In a gesture of welcome, Saudi jets flew overhead displaying colours of the Egyptian flag, the agency added.
Prince Mohammed escorted Al Sissi to the royal palace for talks.
The visit builds on deeply rooted ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, an Egyptian presidential official said.
“The two sisterly countries are bound by relations of fraternity and cooperation at all levels,” Egyptian media quoted Bassam Radi, the spokesman for presidency, as adding. The official said that Al Sissi will discuss with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prince Mohammed boosting ties.
“They will also exchange views and coordinate on different issues as well as regional and international crises of mutual concern at the present stage that requires concerted efforts to protect Arab national security,” Radi added without elaborating.
During the previously unannounced visit, Al Sissi is accompanied by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and intelligence service chief Abbas Kamel, according to SPA.
Egyptian-Saudi ties have prospered since Al Sissi took office in 2014. King Salman made a landmark visit to Egypt in April 2016.
In 2020, a state-of-the art university named after the Saudi king was initiated in Egypt’s Sinai. The King Salman International University comprises 16 colleges presenting a unique learning environment blending theoretical studies with advanced technologies and community service.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, share remarkably growing economic links. In the past six years, their trade exchange has totalled $47.7 billion, SPA reported.
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports to Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, rose last year by 6.9 per cent to reach $1.9 billion.