Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on a surprise visit to improve relations with one of his country’s key allies and economic backers. The visit aims to strengthen ties between the two nations, with Saudi Arabia having provided Egypt with billions of dollars in grants, central bank deposits, and investments over the past decade to prop up the country’s economy. President El Sisi, who has taken charge of the economy since taking office in 2014, has praised financial assistance from Gulf Arab states and noted that Egypt could not have survived the political tumult and near economic meltdown after a 2011 uprising without aid from Gulf Arab nations.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit
During the visit, President El Sisi was received by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the Prime Minister, at King Abdulaziz International Airport. They reviewed the close and historical bilateral relations between the two countries and discussed all issues of common concern, including the latest developments in the regional and international arenas. The Crown Prince hosted a suhoor banquet in honor of El-Sisi, where they discussed the prospects for joint cooperation and ways to further enhance and develop bilateral cooperation in various fields.
Egypt’s economy is currently in the throes of an acute crisis chiefly caused by the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war. Over the past year, Egypt’s currency has lost about 50% of its value, inflation is at its highest level in more than five years, and a dollar crunch continues to undermine local industries and curb imports. In response, Egypt is offering investors stakes in 32 state enterprises, including banks and military-owned companies, to raise foreign currency. The country is hoping that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab nations will seize the opportunity to add to their existing stakes in Egyptian companies. Mending ties with Saudi Arabia would be a significant win for Egypt and its economy.