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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saudi King Salman arrived in Egypt for a "historic visit"

Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Egyptian President
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
(Image: Daily Mail)
Saudi Arabia's King Salman Bin Abdel-Aziz arrives in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday, 7 April, in his first official visit to the biggest Northern African state since he ascended to the Saudi throne in January 2015.

The visit of Saudi monarch is expect to last for five days and was already called a "historic visit" by both Egyptian and Saudi Arabian officials.

Saudi King Salman was greeted by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi upon his arrival on Thursday. Egyptian President and Saudi King had an official meeting and a plenary session on Friday, 8 April, aimed to discuss regional political, economic and social issues and also bilateral relations and economic cooperation. During Salman's visit to Egypt the heads of two states are expected to sign four funding accords worth roughly $22 billion, and these accords are expected to come into effect on Friday.

The press conference followed the Friday meeting of Mr. El-Sisi and Saudi King. King Salman also is expected to visit the session of Egyptian Parliament on Sunday, 10 April, while this visit was called as an important and "historic" by the Speaker of Egyptian Parliament Soliman Wahdan.

During the Friday meeting between the leaders of the two countries eight different agreements and treaties were signed in different fields ranging from housing to electricity.

King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi declared after their meeting that the two countries signed an agreement to construct a bridge over the Red Sea to connect Egypt with Saudi Arabia and to enable easier transportation and trade between the two countries. Mr. Sisi said that the bridge that will be named after the Saudi Arabia's King Salman Bin Abdel-Aziz will connect the African and Asia continents and will help to support and develop export and cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The project of the bridge over the Red Sea to connect Egypt and Saudi Arabia appeared many years ago though it didn't get enough support and was postponed several times due to the environmental issues, as construction of such a bridge threatens the rare corals of the Red Sea and could lead to the real ecological catastrophe.

In addition to the agreement regarding construction of the Red Sea bridge the heads of the two countries also signed the agreements regarding cooperation in several other fields including the establishment of the University of the King Salman in the Tour city in South Sinai, renovation of Egypt's largest and one of the oldest public hospital Qasr El-Aini, a large electricity project in Western Cairo, building of housing units in Sinai, an agreement regarding peaceful use of nuclear energy, an agreement to avoid double taxation and prevent of tax evasion with respect to taxes on income, cooperation in maritime and ports field and demarcation of the maritime borders between the two countries.

A number of memorandums of understanding were also signed in the fields of electricity, housing, agriculture, trade and export, industry, prevention of corruption and labor. In addition to that the countries also signed agreements for three joint programs in the fields of culture, education and media.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman Bin Abdel-Aziz previously visited Egypt in March 2015 during the Arab League Summit held in the Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh.