Monday, 21 January, 2019

Egypt, Saudi beef up economic ties targeting mega projects

Iranian meddling a threat to peace Egypt, Saudi beef up economic ties targeting mega projects
Melinda Barton | 07 March, 2018, 17:03

The dispute with Qatar is likely to be one of the major topics for discussion between the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and the United Kingdom prime minister, Theresa May, when the two leaders meet in London on Wednesday.

Ahead of his visit to the UK, Saudi Arabia's crown prince has vowed his country will work with British intelligence to thwart terrorism.

London has pitched an entirely new type of relationship with Saudi Arabia as the outcome of the visit.

The British government is keen to transform its historic defence relationship into two-way trade and investment, eyeing both an expanded market in Saudi Arabia for service sector exports, and attracting Saudi cash to finance domestic projects.

In this regard, Tarek Fahmi, a professor of political science at Cairo University, said that the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince was strategic that will pave the way for new policies between the two countries.

The Crown Prince, 32, has been hailed by some as a relative moderate in Saudi Arabia after lifting restrictions on allowing women to drive.

He will also be present at a meeting of the National Security Council.

He will also have a rare audience with Queen Elizabeth and dinner with Prince Charles, the heir to the throne in Britain, after arriving from Egypt.

'After Brexit there will be huge opportunities for Britain as a result of Vision 2030'.

"This vindicates the engagement that we have with Saudi Arabia, to be able to sit down with them", she said.

The Saudi-led coalition - which also includes UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait - has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country's ports and airports as a part of the aggression. The agreement is to build a megapolis with an area of 26,500 square kilometers called NEOM announced by the Saudi Arabian officials at an global investment conference in October past year.

'Wahhabism, a strict interpretation of Islam, dominates life in Saudi Arabia, and all Saudis are considered Muslims, ' Open Doors said on its website.

The visit was part of a three-day stay in Egypt for Prince Mohammed, his first public trip overseas since he became heir apparent previous year.

"I think this visit will contribute to increasing Saudi investments in Egypt".

"Not only is this a message of peace, but it supports tolerance in the Arab world and is a sign of improved relations between Saudi Arabia and the church", said Halim.

"Everything we do in Saudi Arabia is reflected on the economic progress, and on citizens, especially the Saudi youth". "If we want to help him change Saudi Arabia, change the region for the better, then there is no alternative to engagement".

The debate took place as Prince Mohammed was due to meet the British monarch on the first leg of trip packed with displays of diplomatic affection created to help the widen longstanding defence ties into a more far-reaching partnership.