Saudi prince hosts Egyptian leader for first talks in months

The leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia met in the Gulf kingdom, officials say, marking the first face-to-face discussions between the two men in months as the North African country battles a domestic economic crisis.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, held talks late Sunday that focused on ties between the two Middle Eastern heavyweights, according to Egyptian presidential spokesman Ahmed Fahmy.

Fahmy says in a statement that the two leaders “affirmed mutual concern for promoting common cooperation in all fields.” They also agreed to continue “coordination and consultation” on regional and international topics, he adds.

The statement does not give further details.

“I affirm the depth and strength of the bilateral relations between Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” el-Sissi tweets after returning to Egypt early Monday.

Bin Salman, widely known in the West by the acronym MBS, received el-Sissi in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah on the Red Sea. Images aired by state-run media in the two countries show the crown prince waiting for the Egyptian president on the tarmac.

Other officials from both countries attended the talks, including Abbas Kamel, head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Authority, and Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, Saudi national security adviser, according to the Saudi official news agency.

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