Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz call for a united front against “terrorism” in the Middle East….reports COT Azeez
Saudi Ruler King Salman called for a joint fight against “terrorism” in the Middle East. The King is on a five-day visit to Egypt, a trip seen as a clear show of support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former military chief.
King Salman urged for “unity” and “joint alliance” during his historic speech at Egypt’s parliament on Sunday where he became the first Arab leader to give such address in Cairo. In his six-minute address, King Salman said Egypt and Saudi Arabia have agreed to build a bridge linking the nations across the Red Sea and to work together to create a pan-Arab defense force, an Egyptian idea first floated last year.
“To remedy issues of our nations, with the Palestinian cause at the forefront, we are required to be united in one stance, one word,” he said, adding, “the Saudi-Egyptian cooperation we are witnessing today is a blessed beginning for our Arab and Muslim world to achieve balance after years of destabilisation.”
King Salman’s address was received with deafening applause and a standing ovation. Some lawmakers waved the kingdom’s green flag, while others chanted, “all of Egypt greets you.”
Joint work with Egypt and Saudi will “fasten the elimination of terrorism,” he said. “Experiences have showed that work amid joint alliance makes us much stronger.”
“We are working together to launch an Arab joint force,” he said, adding that “terrorism” and “radicalism” must be fought financially, militarily and ideologically.
The king also reiterated and hailed the recent deals inked between Riyadh and Cairo after the two agreed to set up a $16 billion investment fund Saturday and settled a long-standing maritime dispute.
He said the planned bridge over the Red Sea will not only “connect Asia and Africa” but it will be a “gate to Africa,” boosting exports of the two countries and creating job opportunities for people in the region.
He also said the planned free trade zone in northern Sinai Peninsula would also boost the region economically.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Egypt have a historic opportunity to achieve huge economic leaps by cooperating with each other,” he said.
The two leaders have already signed a slew of multi-billion-dollar investment deals, and on Saturday, Egypt agreed to demarcate its maritime borders with Saudi Arabia by officially placing two islands in the Straits of Tiran.
In December, Saudi Arabia announced the creation of an “anti-terrorism” coalition whose members it said would share intelligence, counter violent ideology and deploy troops if necessary to combat extremists.
On Saturday, King Salman and Sisi agreed to set up a $16 billion investment fund. Salman announced on Friday a plan to build a bridge over the Red Sea to Egypt, and inked several other agreements Egypt hopes will boost its battered economy.