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    HomeNewsAsiaSisi visits Saudi Arabia in search of support to face economic crisis

    Sisi visits Saudi Arabia in search of support to face economic crisis

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    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, today, to meet Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and discuss expanding the scope of investment in the North African state.

    The visit comes in light of a severe economic crisis in Egypt, especially the lack of US dollars available to pay for necessary imports and settle debt instalments.

    The visit also comes after an Egyptian-Saudi media exchange, which revealed a crisis in relations between the two countries, due to Riyadh’s position on granting Cairo more economic aid, and Egypt’s stalling in handing over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, the sovereignty over which was transferred to the kingdom in 2017.

    News of the tensions in relations led to Al-Sisi saying Egypt has a good relationship with its neighbouring countries, accusing sites he described as “malicious” of trying to cause discord between them.

    Differences arose between Cairo and Riyadh, following the International Monetary Fund’s announcement that it is granting Egypt a new loan of $3 billion to face the country’s economic crises, in addition to providing a financing package of $14 billion from Gulf states to be returned by Egypt through the sale of state-owned assets.

    In the wake of the IMF’s announcement, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said: “We used to give direct grants and deposits without strings attached and we are changing that. We are working with multilateral institutions to actually say we need to see reforms. We are taxing our people, we are expecting also others to do the same, to do their efforts. We want to help but we want you also to do your part.”

    While former Saudi writer and academic, Turki Al-Hamad, tweeted: “We have two models for Egypt: the prosperous Egypt before 1952, and the ambitious Egypt after that date, and on the other hand, there is Egypt in its current reality, that is, the Egypt of unemployment, of economic and political crises, of dilemmas in society and its violent radical fluctuations that do not belong to any model, be it royal or republican.”

    Al-Hamad blamed the economic crisis in Egypt on the army’s escalating dominance over the state, especially the economy.

    Al-Sisi last visited Riyadh in December to participate in the Arab-Chinese summit, and the visit witnessed bilateral talks on ways to strengthen bilateral relations, especially in the economic and investment fields.

    It is estimated that Egypt has received some $92 billion in support from the Gulf since the 25 January 2011 revolution which toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

    READ: Egypt’s Sisi likely to meet Syria’s Assad in April



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    Middle East Monitor

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