True friends: The significance of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Egypt
Has Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Egypt achieved its purpose? The visit in itself highlighted the importance of Egyptian-Saudi relations. The welcome from the Egyptian leadership and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was evidence of Cairo’s continued support of the stability of Riyadh.
On the other hand, it categorically denied any rumors or speculation regarding the relationship between the two sides. This was evident from the welcome from Egyptian MPs and some of those who came out to receive the crown prince on the streets of Cairo, either spontaneously or by prior arrangement, which emphasized that Egypt stands by the Saudi Arabian people and leadership. The Egyptian leadership wanted to emphasize its support for the Saudi leadership even if it was not accepted by some international and regional powers.
The visit showed the Kingdom’s attempts to overcome the consequences of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, and also appeared as a message to demonstrate the strength of its convictions and the firmness of the ground on which the Kingdom and the crown prince stand, as well as the unlimited support of the state of Egypt to them in light of the media war and the pressures they have been exposed to from global and regional parties.
The crown prince’s visit to Cairo is an important step in promoting strategic relations between the two countries. Just as Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest supporters of Egypt and its people, so Egypt has been the biggest supporter of the Kingdom, and of its policies and steps toward an enlightened future.
Strengthening the strategic partnership between Cairo and Riyadh is in the interests of the two countries first, but also serves the stability of the Arab region, too.
Moreover, the importance of coordination, especially among the Arab Anti-Terror Quartet, was stressed as being among the goals achieved by the visit of the crown prince to Egypt — his third stop after the UAE and Bahrain. The significance here is that this quartet moves according to the logic of power that protects people from the evils of extremism and its supporters.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been bastions of the entire region. They are leading the Muslim world against schemes targeting its unity and stability. Strengthening the strategic partnership between Cairo and Riyadh is in the interests of the two countries first, but also serves the stability of the Arab region, too.
The significance of the visit was not confined to politics, but also included economics. The two sides discussed several new investment and economic agreements, which aim at development rather than profit.
This visit may have a special and different nature from the crown prince’s trips to Egypt after his inauguration, and it may be one of the most important visits in the history of the two countries because it comes at a difficult time.
Both countries face difficulties, mainly terrorism and foreign interference in the region’s affairs, including the danger of disintegration and division facing neighboring countries. Such wars and conflicts threaten not only those countries, but also the entire region, as well as the challenge of progress, without which the Arab nation will not develop. Saudi Arabia also faces a difficult situation in which it is necessary to call on true friends.
• Abdellatif El-Menawy is a critically acclaimed multimedia journalist, writer and columnist who has covered war zones and conflicts worldwide.