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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed, Sisi hold talks in Egypt

05 March 2018

During his three-day visit to Egypt, Salman is expected to visit the main Coptic cathedral in Cairo, the first by a senior Saudi official, according to sources in the Egyptian capital.

Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Bin Salman met President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Sunday, on his first public trip overseas since he became crown prince a year ago and purged the kingdom's political and economic elite. He was received by President El-Sisi at Cairo airport.

Prince Mohammed and Sisi, a key regional ally, agreed in talks to bolster economic ties and launch joint projects, "particularly in the tourism sector on the Red Sea", said Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Radi.

He will meet there head of the Coptic Church Tawadros II.

On Sunday evening, the Egyptian president and the Saudi crown prince oversaw the signing ceremony of a number of agreements on environment and economic cooperation, including the establishment of a Saudi-Egyptian investment fund.

Authorities in Riyadh have taken an active interest in Egyptian politics following the overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

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The crown prince has visited Egypt several times in recent years while serving as deputy crown prince.

Sisi and Salman met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, in September 2016, following a historic visit to Cairo by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz in April.

Egypt is a member of a Saudi-led coalition fighting Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen.

The day before Prince Mohammed's visit, Egypt's top court dismissed all outstanding legal challenges to the deal on the Red Sea islands. In June, the two regional heavyweights joined allies the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in a coalition against Qatar, the tiny but energy-rich nation they accuse of supporting militant groups and being too close to Iran.

The crown prince's tour also aims to court investors and comes after a tumultuous period that has seen a military shake-up and a royal purge in Saudi Arabia, part of his sweeping power play.