Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in Egypt at start of regional tour

The trip to Cairo is the first stop in a schedule that will also take him to Jordan and Turkey

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Cairo on Monday, the first stop of a regional tour that will also take him to Jordan and Turkey, Egyptian officials said.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Prince Mohammed at Cairo International Airport. They will hold talks at Ittihadiya presidential palace on Tuesday morning.

The official Saudi Press Agency earlier reported that the Crown Prince was headed to Cairo on Monday.

Tuesday's talks between Prince Mohammed and Mr El Sisi will cover the impact of the war in Ukraine on the region, as well as preparations for US President Joe Biden's trip to Saudi Arabia next month, the officials said.

Mr Biden will hold talks with Saudi King Salman and Prince Mohammed during his visit on July 15 and July 16.

He will also meet leaders of the other five members of the GCC — the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman — as well as Mr El Sisi, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi and Jordan's King Abdullah II.

Talks between the US president and the Saudi leaders in the Red Sea city of Jeddah are expected to cover the energy crisis, the wars in Ukraine and Yemen, food security, the Iran nuclear file and cybersecurity.

Crown Prince Mohammed's visit to Egypt follows a meeting on Sunday between the leaders of Egypt, Bahrain and Jordan at the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh, where they discussed the coming talks with the US president in Saudi Arabia.

Regional powerhouses Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been close allies for decades. Riyadh has poured billions of dollars' worth of aid and investment into Egypt since Mr El Sisi took office in 2014.

The latest batch of Saudi economic aid came in March, when Riyadh deposited $5 billion in Egypt's central bank to help the most populous Arab nation, with 103 million people, weather the damage wrought on its economy by the war in Ukraine.

The Saudi-based International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation has provided Egypt with finance for commodity imports. Egypt's government has said co-operation with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund will result in $10bn in investments.

Updated: June 21, 2022, 5:44 AM