Saudi crown prince visits Egypt

The writer is a former ambassador and ex-assistant secretary general of OIC

Sissi visited Saudi Arabia twice previous year.

Egyptian officials said that the Saudi Crown Prince's choice of Egypt as the first leg of his maiden foreign tour reflects strong links between Cairo and Riyadh.

A beaming Sisi greeted the prince at Cairo airport after he descended the red-carpeted steps of his plane.

The head of Prince Mohammed's office, Bader al-Asaker, tweeted that the prince's plane was escorted by Egyptian fighter jets when it entered its air space.

Prince Mohammed will hold meetings with Sisi, a key regional ally, and other officials in Egypt before flying off to Britain on Wednesday and then later this month the United States.

According to Arab News, the crown prince and Egypt's president will discuss inter-Arab cooperation as well the latest developments in the region.

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

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

Opposition to the deal has been a problem for Sisi, sparking the only major street protests since he came to power backed by Saudi in 2014 and becoming a rallying point for opposition figures that have been marginalized during his rule.

It has since showered Cairo with aid to prop up the country's economy, in a relationship that has led to some controversy in Egypt.

Egypt's top court dismissed all outstanding legal challenges to a deal transferring two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, a day before a visit by its crown prince.

President Sisi received the Crown Prince in Cairo for a three-day visit. 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 agreement was first announced during a visit to Cairo in April 2016 by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, during which he announced a multi-billion-dollar package of investments and soft loans for Egypt.

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