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Saudi crown prince visits Egypt as he tours Mideast before Biden trip

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, left, greets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his arrival to Cairo, Egypt, for a visit meant to deepen the alliance between two of the region's powerhouses, on March 4, 2018. (Mohammed Samaha/ MENA via AP/ File)
Illustrative: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, left, greets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his arrival to Cairo, Egypt, on March 4, 2018. (Mohammed Samaha/MENA via AP)

CAIRO — Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in Cairo today on the first leg of a Middle East tour that comes ahead of US President Joe Biden’s trip to the region next month.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt received bin Salman at the airport, a courtesy to the de facto leader who is a steady financial backer of the Egyptian government, according to the Egyptian presidency.

Both leaders are scheduled to hold talks in the country’s presidential palace in Cairo tomorrow. The Saudi crown prince, who is commonly referred to by his initials MBS, will then depart to Jordan for talks with its monarch, King Abdullah II, also a close ally of Saudi Arabia.

Bin Salman is then scheduled to travel to Turkey to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited Saudi Arabia in April for the first time in five years, as the two countries repair ties. Saudi-Turkey relations frayed following the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.

The crown prince’s talks in Cairo and Amman aim at coordinating their positions on key issues, Saudi officials told The Associated Press last week ahead of a joint summit with US President Joe Biden in Jeddah next month. The summit will also include Iraq’s prime minister and other Gulf leaders. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the tour.

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