Egypt, Saudi Arabia agree on land bridge

Cairo, April 8 (IANS) Egypt and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to establish a land bridge to connect the two countries, visiting King Salman Bin Abdel-Aziz said.

“The land bridge will be named after King Salman,” Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said.

The bridge will constitute a historical leap in connecting Asia and Africa and will raise the mutual trade exchange between the two continents to unprecedented levels, King Salman said.

The bridge will create job opportunities for the whole region, he added.

The Saudi leader is paying his first visit to Egypt since his inauguration as king in early 2015.

“King Salman’s visit to Egypt is meant to bolster ties and strategic partnership between the two countries in a manner that helps face regional threats and crises,” said the Egyptian president.

The two countries are capable of maintaining the security of the Arab region at this critical phase, al-Sisi said.

He said coordination between the two countries was necessary to solve the Yemeni, Libyan, Syrian and Palestinian issues.

“The visit aims to open new horizons for joint action and boost bonds between the two countries,” al-Sisi added.

Earlier, President al-Sisi has granted the Saudi king, who arrived on Thursday in Cairo for a five-day visit, the Collar of the Nile, Egypt’s highest state honor.

The two sides have signed eight agreements, six MoUs and three cooperation programmes that covered fields including education, health, housing, agriculture, electricity and marine transportation.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia also agreed on setting up a King Salman University in the North Sinai city of Tour.

Saudi Arabia has been the key backer of al-Sisi since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 after mass protests against his one-year rule.

It has pumped billions of dollars to help and invest into Egypt’s battered economy.

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