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The Egyptian President in Saudi Arabia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Egyptian President Dr. Mohammed Mursi’s visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, scheduled for tomorrow, is crucially important for the bilateral relations between Cairo and Riyadh.

The fact that the new Egyptian President is initiating his term in office by visiting the Kingdom conveys the following significant messages:

Firstly: The change in governance from the republic of former President Hosni Mubarak, who once had excellent relations with the Kingdom, to that of the Muslim Brotherhood’s republic will not affect the main pillars of bilateral relationship that relies mainly on “interests” and “facts”, rather than specific individuals.

Secondly: Saudi diplomacy, by organizing this visit, has smartly blocked the way in front of Iranian efforts that had hoped to lure the Egyptian President to visit Tehran first, to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit.

Thirdly: The visit will help to remedy the negative impact of “Ahmed al-Gizawi’s crisis”, currently being investigated in Saudi Arabia, which could have caused great harm to the relations between Cairo and Riyadh, were it not for the cunning conduct of the Saudi Ambassador to Cairo, Ahmed al-Qattan, who acted promptly to control the situation and its impact.

Fourthly: This visit gives Riyadh the opportunity to become closely acquainted with the new Egyptian president’s vision regarding the following issues:

1- His attitude towards exporting ideas and experiences abroad.

2- The Muslim Brotherhood’s true stance towards Iran.

3- How the new President will handle the issues of Hamas, Hezbollah and relations with Israel.

Fifthly: The visit will help determine the size of Saudi support required by the Egyptian economy during the transitional period in Egypt; from the post-revolution economy to the stage of restoring the confidence of the international market and investors in Egypt.

This particular issue is of tremendous importance considering the new Egyptian President’s plan to achieve stability in the first 100 days of his rule.

The success of the Egyptian President’s visit to the kingdom could mark the beginning of greater Egyptian openness to all the Gulf States.

The importance of the visit also lies in its scheduled date, preceding Hillary Clinton’s visit to Cairo early next week to convey an important message from President Obama and discuss a joint-Egyptian-American action plan.

Egypt’s activity in the Arab world is the essential foundation that could support Cairo’s stance against wild American “desires” to administer the region from the perspective of Washington alone, without any consideration of the other countries involved.