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Egypt-Saudi ties see fresh start after Sisi-Salman talks
Published in Albawaba on 01 - 04 - 2017

A meeting between Egyptian President Abdel- Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz on the sidelines of the 28th Arab League summit in Jordan may turn over a new leaf in the bilateral ties.
In a press statement, Egypt's presidential spokesman, Alaa Yussef said," The unplanned talks held on March 29th in the Dead Sea region tackled means to boost strategic relations in all fields between both countries".
He added the talks expressed keenness to support joint coordination in light of the unity of destiny and the challenges facing the two countries.
Both leaders stressed the importance of advancing bilateral relations in all fields, in a way that reflects the strength of the deep-rooted bilateral ties, Yussef added.
The spokesman also affirmed the two leaders had exchanged official visit invitations that were accepted by both.
A day after the talks, Saudi ambassador to Cairo, Ahmed Qattan was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as dubbing Sisi's coming visit to Riyadh as a "successful one" that will remove all obstacles to repair the two countries' brotherly relations.
The meeting came after mediation efforts by Jordanian king Abdullah II, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad, Emirati officials as well as the Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul-Gheit who maintains close ties with Saudi Arabia.
The Egyptian-Saudi relations saw severe tensions after Cairo voted for a Russian UN Security Council bill regarding Syria.
The two countries also had opposing views concerning the military intervention in Yemen.
In January, Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court issued a final verdict that annulled a maritime border demarcation treaty under which the ownership of two Red Sea islands—Tiran and Sanafir—were supposed to be transferred to the kingdom.
In return, Riyadh announced suspension of fuel shipments to Egypt by Aramco, the world's biggest oil company until a further notice without giving reasons.
Saudi Arabia also suspended all commercial agreements signed with Egypt during Salman's first-ever visit to Cairo in April, 2016.
The Saudi moves helped exacerbate Egypt's economic crisis amid new austerity plans.
But an improvement has been recently noticed in the Egyptian-Saudi relations. In mid March, Egypt's Oil Ministry announced Aramco would resume fuel shipments to Egypt after a six-month long hiatus.
In February, President Sisi approved a US$1.5 billion deal with the Saudi Fund for Development to finance development projects in the Sinai Peninsula.

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