CAIRO: Saudi King Salman on Monday wrapped up a landmark five-day visit to Egypt marked by lavish praise and multi-billion-dollar investment deals, in a clear sign of support for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime.
The 80-year-old monarch’s visit came as Riyadh aims to shore up ties with Cairo as it engages in several conflicts in the Middle East and competes with Shiite Iran for regional supremacy.
Over the past five days, King Salman and Sisi signed a slew of multi-billion-dollar investment deals that included a plan to build a bridge over the Red Sea connecting Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Egypt also agreed to demarcate its maritime borders with Saudi Arabia by officially placing two islands in the Straits of Tiran in Saudi territory.
The agreement provoked an immediate backlash in Egypt, with thousands of Twitter users accusing Sisi of selling the islands. The islands had historically been Saudi and were “leased” to Egypt in 1950.
The visit also highlights Saudi Arabia’s firm support for Egypt’s fight against the jihadist Islamic State group.