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King of Saudi Arabia urges Egypt to back Riyadh agreement | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz speaks during an extraordinary GCC leaders’ summit in Riyadh on November 16, 2014. (AFP Photo/HO/SPA)

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz speaking during  at an extraordinary GCC leaders summit in Riyadh on November 16, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/HO/SPA)

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz speaking during at an extraordinary GCC leaders summit in Riyadh on November 16, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/HO/SPA)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz issued a statement on Wednesday calling on Egypt to back the agreement reached at the recent summit in Riyadh that ended an 8-month crisis involving Qatar and three fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.

“I appeal to the people and leadership of Egypt to seek with us the success of this step in the march of Arab solidarity—as we always have known it—as supporter for the efforts of joint Arab action,” a statement issued by the Kingdom’s Royal Court on Wednesday, quoted by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

On Sunday, the Kingdom played host to an emergency meeting that resulted in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain returning their ambassadors to Qatar after a long-running dispute arising from what they claimed was Doha’s interference in the internal affairs of fellow GCC members.

The statement referred to the agreement as “the beginning of the start of a new page to push the process of joint work [forward] not only for the benefit of the peoples of the countries of GCC Arab States, but for the benefit of the peoples of the Arab and Islamic nations.”

The Egyptian government responded by welcoming the royal call, and Cairo’s ambassador to Riyadh, Afifi Abdel Wahab, told Asharq Al-Awsat that his country “opens its arms to embrace its Arab brothers and will continue to perform its role in confronting the challenges facing the region.”

Egypt recalled its ambassador to Qatar earlier this year over tensions relating to the Qatari government’s support of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The ambassador added that the Egyptian leadership and people have deep appreciation and respect for the Saudi monarch, who he said has supported Egypt since the June 30 revolution of 2013.

The Egyptian presidency said it has “complete trust in the wisdom and right vision of the Custodian of the Holy Mosques” and that it “highly appreciates the King’s tireless efforts” to serve the interests of Arab and Muslim countries.

In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat an advisor to King Abdullah, Prince Mnasour Bin Nasser Bin Abdelaziz, said: “[The agreement] would not be realized without the awareness and determination shown by the leaders of GCC member states.” The reconciliation agreement has restored hope in unifying the GCC ranks, Prince Mansour added.

He also praised Egypt’s acceptance of the King’s request, a step he said reflects its significance and the importance of its “role and standing in the Arab world.”