CAIRO// Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, arrived in Cairo yesterday for a high-level visit underscoring support for Egypt's interim government and the deep ties between the two nations.
Thousands of Egyptians thronged Cairo airport to welcome him and show appreciation for the UAE for standing with their country. They waved the flags of the UAE and Egypt and raised pictures of Sheikh Khalifa, the President, and of Sheikh Zayed, the nation's founder.
Sheikh Mohammed was greeted at the airport by the interim prime minister Hazem Beblawi. He inspected an honour guard and shook hands with senior Egyptian officials.
His visit at this delicate time was "one of the most important milestones" in the relations between the two nations, said Tamer Mansour, Egypt's ambassador to the UAE.
It highlighted the UAE's "sincere Arab role" in assisting the Egyptian people politically and economically to help them achieve the goals for which they demonstrated in the June 30 revolution, Mr Mansour told Wam, the state news agency.
The Crown Prince and Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour discussed mutual cooperation and how to bolster regional and international peace and stability.
"It is our duty to stand by our brothers in Egypt who are capable of overcoming the current circumstances by making the political process in this transitional phase a success," Sheikh Mohammed said.
Sheikh Mohammed underscored the UAE's relief at the return of security and stability thanks to Egypt's leadership and national forces.
He said the UAE supported Egyptians and praised their rejection of violence to ensure stability. He also praised the role of the army after meeting the army chief Gen Abdel Fattah El Sisi, and said the army's stance was "the major response to those who sought to tamper with stability, security, development and coexistence in Egypt".
The Crown Prince said Sheikh Khalifa was clear in providing support to Egypt and advance its economy.
The UAE has been a significant backer of the interim government. In July, the UAE pledged Dh11 billion in aid in a significant show of support after Mohammed Morsi was removed from power by the military. The UAE pledged a $1 billion grant and $2bn in the form of a zero-interest loan.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have also sent aid.
Mr Mansour praised the UAE's support for Egypt and the aspirations of its people, and said it showed the fraternal relationship between the two countries.
Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, National Security Adviser and Vice President of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Egyptian people "will never forget the UAE's historic stance" on Egypt and its support for the Egyptian people and their will, the Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman, Badr Abdel Ati, told Wam.
"It is no surprise that the UAE stand by the will of the people," he said. "The brotherly UAE has stood by Egypt in all previous tribulations and tough times, just like Egypt stood by its Arab brothers throughout history."