Saudi Defence Minister visits Egypt Today

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Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince and defence minister will visit Egypt Thursday to discuss bilateral relations with top officials, state news agency MENA reported.

Mohammad Bin Salman, who is also Saudi Arabia’s second deputy prime minister, will meet President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to discuss cooperation between Cairo and Riyadh.

Last week Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry met his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubair in Riyadh where they announced in a press conference that both countries are still committed to mutual interests.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been close allies since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

However, there have been reports of rising tensions between Cairo and Riyadh after the chief of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas Khaled Meshaal visited the Kingdom last week and met Saudi King Salman.

Relations between Cairo and Hamas, an offshoot of Egypt’s now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, have soured since Morsi’s ouster, with officials accusing the group of aiding militants in North Sinai. Hamas has repeatedly distanced itself from such claims.

The oil-rich Kingdom is allegedly making efforts to reduce tensions with Muslim Brotherhood allies. These efforts are reportedly being made to counter the influence of Iran, the Kingdom’s arch rival in the region.

Egypt joined a Saudi-led Arab coalition in March against Houthi rebels in Yemen sending its navy to Bab El-Mandab Strait.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, supported Egypt’s new government, giving billions of dollars in aid.

Both countries also recently spearheaded calls for the formation of a joint Arab military force.

Source:Ahram Online

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