Cairo: Egypt and Saudi Arabia have pledged closer ties after senior officials from both countries held their second cooperation talks in weeks.
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammad bin Salman confirmed at a meeting with President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi in Cairo his country’s commitment to boost Egypt’s development drive, state media reported early Wednesday.
The Saudi royalty led in Cairo on Tuesday the Saudi side at the second round of an Egyptian-Saudi coordination council, which had met in Riyadh earlier this month.
Saudi Arabia has pumped billions of dollars in aid to shore up the ailing Egyptian economy since the army’s 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi.
On Tuesday, Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz ordered the increase of his country’s investments to reach $8 billion in Egypt, Cairo media reported, quoting the official Saudi Press Agency SPA .
He also ordered helping in meeting Egypt’s oil needs over the next five years.
In recent years, Egypt has suffered from an acute energy shortage.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Esmail said his country is negotiating with Saudi Arabia for getting a new deposit to prop up the economy hammered by more than four years of unrest. Esmail did not disclose the value of the sought-after aid.
“The Saudi side expressed interest in the projects, which Egypt presented during the council’s meeting,” he said, without giving details.
The third round of the council, set up last month, will be held in Riyadh next month, according to Esmail.
The latest moves came shortly after Saudi Arabia announced the creation of a military Islamic alliance composed of 34 countries including Egypt to combat terrorism.
Egypt projects itself as being in the vanguard of a regional campaign against violent militancy.