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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Mohammed bin Salman touches down in Cairo as tour moves on

The Saudi Crown Prince is on a regional tour ahead of the G20 economic summit in South America

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Cairo late on Monday night in the latest stop on his regional tour ahead of the G20 summit at the end of the week.

The visit is the Saudi royal's sixth time in Cairo and the second since becoming crown prince in June last year, underscoring "the strength and durability of historic and strategic ties between the two countries," the Kingdom's ambassador to Egypt said.

The latest visit also demonstrates the importance of ongoing cooperation and coordination between the two states, Osama bin Ahmed Naqli, who also serves as Saudi Arabia's permanent representative to the Arab League, said in a statement.

The two countries have numerous business and development agreements, including building the $500 billion Neom mega-city near the Saudi border.

The kingdom has become the second-largest foreign investor in Egypt, accounting for some 11 per cent of total FDI.

epa07192138 A handout photo made available by the Saudi Royal Court early 27 November 2018 shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (L) with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) upon his arrival in Cairo, Egypt, late 26 November 2018. The Saudi Crown Prince is on a regional tour before attending the G20 summit in Argentina. After visiting Egypt he is expected to travel to Tunisia. EPA/BANDAR ALGALOUD/SAUDI ROYAL COURT HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
Prince Mohammad bin Salman, left, is met by Abdel Fattah El Sisi upon his arrival in Cairo, Egypt. EPA

Mr Naqli said the visit will serve as a new push to boost the partnership between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, adding that existing ties have been at an all-time high under the leadership of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz.

Suleiman Wahdan, the deputy speaker of the Egyptian parliament, said on Tuesday that the visit also served to highlight support for Saudi Arabia, in light of what he dubbed as a "media war" being waged against the Kingdom.

"Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest supporters of Egypt and it's people," Mr Wahdan said.

Prince Mohammed was met at the airport by President Sisi and then the pair discussed regional and international matters.

Egypt’s presidential spokesman Bassam Radi told reporters that "Sisi and [Prince Mohammed]'s bilateral talks come within the framework of the strategic partnership between the two countries."

“There is no doubt that the visit will contribute to the realisation of the vision of the two governments to increase the volume of trade and to become a major economic market in the region,” Egyptian trade and industry minister Amr Nassar said in a statement.

The Saudi crown prince was accompanied by a delegation comprising of Saudi's ministers of interior, trade, media and foreign affairs.

The Saudi leader is expected to stay in Egypt for two days before travelling on, reportedly to Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania before heading to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on November 30.

Prince Mohammed flew to Egypt from Bahrain where he arrived on Sunday to meet with the king and royal family the day after the country held parliamentary elections.

Saudi Arabia has been a major backer of the Bahraini royal family, intervening in 2011 to help the government contend with mass protests and also financially supporting the country to try and kick-start its spluttering economy.

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