CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will make his first official visit to Saudi Arabia under the rule of new King Salman bin Abdelaziz on Sunday to discuss economic and political issues, including the situation in Yemen, according to a Thursday presidential statement.
The discussions will tackle means to avoid negative impacts of Yemen’s instability over the security of the Gulf States and the Red Sea; Yemen’s Mandeb strait is a strategic link between Egypt’s Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean.
In his-one day visit, Sisi will meet with King Salman, Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister Muqrin bin Abdelaziz, and Minister of Interior Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdelaziz. Sisi visited the monarchy in January to pay condolences on the passing of King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz, according to the statement.
The Arab Summit, scheduled to be held in Cairo in March, is also on the agenda of the visit, the statement said, adding that consolidating the distinguished relations of the two countries is vital under “the fierce attack” waged against the Arab nation.
Presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef also said that Sisi values King Salman’s voluntary service in the Egyptian army during the Tripartite Aggression in 1956, also known as the Suez Crisis, where Israel, Britain and France attacked Egypt to control the Suez Canal.
On Feb. 22, Sisi said in a lengthy speech to the nation that Gulf States “know we respect them,” adding that Egyptians should be cautious about “all attempts to incite a dispute between us and our brother countries.” He implicitly referred to an alleged leaked audio purporting that he and other military officials were reducing the importance of the oil-rich states.