Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egypt and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement which they have dubbed the “Cairo Declaration,” aiming to boost ties across several sectors, a statement from the Egyptian president’s office said on Thursday.
The agreement, signed during a visit by Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed Bin Salman to Cairo, aims to increase military, economic, and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
As part of the declaration, Riyadh and Cairo have agreed to work together to create a joint Arab military force. They will also begin the process of formally defining maritime borders between both countries along the Red Sea, the statement said.
Both sides will also increase mutual investments in the energy, electricity, and transport sectors and have promised to strengthen economic integration.
A number of joint cultural and media projects between both countries have also been agreed, which will aim to counter what the statement said were increasing efforts to destabilize the region politically and culturally.
During the visit on Thursday Prince Mohammed met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and later attended a graduation ceremony for cadets at Egypt’s Military Academy.
President Sisi said Prince Mohammed’s visit and the signing of the declaration came at a crucial time for both countries and the region as a whole.
“At this current period which the Arab world is facing, we need to work together, because the threats are many, and we will not overcome them unless we work together. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are the two pillars of Arab national security, and together we can confront these challenges,” Sisi said.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir accompanied Prince Mohammed during the visit and on Thursday met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shokry.
Speaking at a press conference following the meeting, Jubeir said there was a real desire from both countries “to boost and intensify the bilateral, strategic, and historic ties” between them.
He added that the new declaration would take relations between both countries “to a new level.”
Relations between Riyadh and Cairo have strengthened since 2013 when the army, then headed by Sisi, ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Mursi following mass protests against his one-year rule.
The Brotherhood is banned in Saudi Arabia and several other Gulf countries and Egypt declared the group a terrorist organization in December 2013 following a series of attacks targeting security and military personnel which authorities said were linked to the Brotherhood.