MBS Cements Ties With Allies

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Saudi Arabian crown prince meets regional powerheads to address global issues and security threats

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud on Tuesday discussed the security threats and challenges faced by the region and agreed to continue intensive security coordination between the two Arab countries.

The crown prince later met Jordan King Abdullah in Amman.

The talks reflected a mutual understanding to continue joint efforts to address the risks threatening the security and stability of the countries and peoples of the region, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

The Egyptian president “reiterated Egypt’s unwavering position with regard to the Gulf’s security, stressing that it is integral to Egypt’s national security, rejecting any practices that seek to destabilize it.”

For his part, the Saudi crown prince underscored the importance of continuing intensive coordination and consultations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia to counter the challenges and crises faced by the Arab world.

The crown prince also highlighted Egypt’s “pivotal and firm role as a fundamental pillar for security and stability in the region.”

Earlier in the day, the Egyptian government announced that Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed 14 investment deals in Cairo valued at 7.7 billion U.S. dollars during the state visit of the Saudi crown prince, covering the fields of food and pharmaceutical industries, infrastructure, renewable energy, green hydrogen, e-commerce, digital finance, and information services.

Almost half of the agreements were signed with Ajlan and Bros, a Saudi conglomerate, one of which focuses on building a petrochemical storage facility in Egypt valued at 3.36 billion dollars.

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In addition, Saudi ACWA Power will invest 1.5 billion dollars in a wind power plant in Egypt according to one of the signed deals.

Some other deals involve building a multi-purpose terminal at Egypt’s Damietta port and establishing a “pharmaceutical city” worth 150 million dollars by Egypt in the Gulf kingdom. The Saudi crown prince landed in the Egyptian capital on Monday as the first stop of his Middle East diplomatic tour.

MBS in Amman

King Abdullah II of Jordan held talks Tuesday with visiting Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud on ways to foster ties and economic cooperation.

The king and the Saudi crown prince stressed the historic ties between the two countries and voiced keenness to strengthen them at all levels. They also talked about ways to enhance economic cooperation and Saudi Arabia’s possible investment in Jordan.

The Jordanian king stressed Saudi Arabia’s key role in supporting Arab and Islamic causes, highlighted its efforts for achieving peace, and affirmed Jordan’s full support for Saudi Arabia. The Saudi crown prince said that Saudi Arabia is keen to boost coordination with Jordan, adding that there will be increased cooperation between the two countries.

The two sides also talked about regional issues including the Palestinian issue and the right of the Palestinians in having an independent state. Also on Tuesday, companies from the two countries signed a series of agreements to boost cooperation in several sectors.

The White House earlier announced that U.S. President Joe Biden will visit Saudi Arabia during his upcoming trip to the Middle East in mid-July.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, now the chair of Gulf Cooperation Council, will be the president’s last stop during the trip scheduled for July 13 to 16, which also brings him to Israel and the West Bank.

The president “looks forward to this important visit to Saudi Arabia, which has been a strategic partner of the United States for nearly eight decades,” Jean-Pierre said, adding that “ensuring global energy and food security” is among the issues to be discussed.

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The visit to the oil-rich country comes as the Biden administration is facing mounting domestic pressure to lower sky-high gasoline prices. The price of U.S. gasoline averaged more than 5 dollars a gallon for the first time on Saturday.

OPEC+, the group of oil-producing nations led by Saudi Arabia, recently agreed to raise oil production to help bring down the surging prices. 

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