Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir arrived Sunday in Egypt for his first visit since his appointment last April to hold talks over the situation in the Arab region.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, met with his Saudi counterpart and stressed concordance between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the situation in Syria and Yemen, saying that there is convergence of views towards dealing with the crisis there, according to a foreign ministry statement.
Egypt, one of the countries supporting in the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi militias since May, is already participating with navy and air forces in the operations.
Shoukry also stressed the importance of working together to achieve the “humanitarian needs, and alleviate the suffering of the people of Yemen”, the statement said.
Thousands of Yemenis were forced to leave their homes, escaping the ongoing violence since May. According to declared the World Food Programme (WFP), 220,000 Yemenis are currently internally displaced across the country.
The two officials also discussed the situation in Syria, and highlighted the importance of providing appropriate support for the Syrian national opposition, in order to enforce political action.
Al-Sisi met Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz on 1 March, where the Egyptian president reaffirmed the need for a Joint Arab Force, “not for attacking, but for defending the security of our countries”.
Since former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in July 2013, Saudi Arabia has been a strong backer of Egypt. The Gulf kingdom, a long-time critic of the Muslim Brotherhood, formally declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in March 2014. It has also consistently come to the aid of Egypt’s ailing economy with loans and other forms of support.
Saudi Arabia, currently investing over $5.7bn in Egypt, is the largest investing Arab country in Egypt, providing 27% of total Arab investments.
During the March Economic Summit held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Saudi Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz pledged a further $4bn in economic assistance to Egypt.
The Saudi defence minister praised Egypt’s support for Saudi Arabia and the security of the Gulf region, as well as its role in promoting joint Arab action at all levels, the presidential statement said.
Al-Sisi stressed that Egypt “was and will always be of help to its brothers and a defender of Arab rights”. He added: “Arabian Gulf security is a red line for Egypt and an integral part of national security, where the security of the region is directly linked to Egypt’s vital interests, particularly in the Red Sea and the Strait of Bab El-Mandeb.”
The meeting also dealt with the role of culture and the media as a means to raise awareness and transfer facts relating of all issues in the Arab region, as well as the importance of culture and education as tools for supporting religious speech to defeat terrorism and extremist thought.