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King Salman: Egypt Has a Special Place in my Heart | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques with President El-Sisi after arriving in Cairo yesterday (Photo: Bandar Al-Jaloud)

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz yesterday began a historic five-day visit to Egypt. He started his visit by holding talks with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during which they discussed regional and international issues of common interest and bilateral economic cooperation.

King Salman wrote on his official Twitter page immediately after his arrival in Cairo that “Egypt has a special place in my heart, and the kingdom values it and our strategic relationship with it which is important to the Arab and Muslim worlds. God protect Egypt and its people.”

On his part, President El-Sisi welcomed the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and wrote in a similar tweet “I welcome my brother His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to Egypt, his second country.”

Presidential Spokesman Ambassador Alaa Youssef said that “This is the first official visit by King Salman, whose valuable and honourable positions in support of Egypt and its people will never be forgotten”. Youssef added that his visit “was welcomed by all in Egypt; the leadership, the government and the people”.

King Salman’s visit to Egypt comes as a response to an invitation from President El-Sisi. The Saudi royal court confirmed in a statement that King Salman’s visit to Cairo is a result of “the solid fraternal ties between Saudi Arabia and the Arab Republic of Egypt”, and that ways to strengthen these relations in all fields and international and regional issues of mutual interest will be discussed during the visit.

Before leaving Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued a royal decree delegating the management of state affairs and taking care of the interests of the people during his absence from the kingdom to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz.

King Salman was warmly welcomed in Egypt. At the Heliopolis Palace, 21 cannon shots were fired to welcome the Saudi monarch and photos of him along with the Saudi flag adorned the main streets of Cairo.

After the official welcoming ceremony ended, the leaders of the two countries held talks in the afternoon. Presidential Spokesman Ambassador Alaa Youssef said that President El-Sisi welcomed King Salman’s first official visit to Egypt since he ascended the throne during the talks. He also expressed the Egyptian leadership and people’s esteem and affection for the Saudi monarch and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in light of the honourable positions taken in support of Egypt and its people.

More talks between King Salman and President El-Sisi are scheduled for today which will be attended by delegations from both countries. This will be followed by a ceremony during which several agreements between the two countries will be signed, and a press conference led by the two leaders will be held according to Egyptian presidential sources.

Meanwhile, the Cairo University Council unanimously decided to grant King Salman an honorary doctorate due to the fact that he is a key figure who has a profound and remarkable influence internationally and in the Arab world. The honorary doctorate also recognises his outstanding contributions to the Muslim and Arab worlds and his support for Egypt and its people.