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Amid Financial Turmoil and Regional Shifts, Egyptian Leader Sisi Visits Saudi Arabia

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited Saudi Arabia on Sunday as Cairo seeks major financial inflows and regional reorganizations.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has always provided financial support to Egypt, but recently indicated that it would not provide such support without conditions, which observers believe may have sparked a rare media clash between the two countries.

The trip also comes amid a major diplomatic realignment in the region, with moves by Saudi Arabia and Egypt to ease tensions with Syria, Iran and Turkey.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Sisi in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah, the official Saudi Press Agency said, where they discussed bilateral relations and regional developments.

She added that other Saudi and Egyptian officials, including the Saudi National Security Adviser, Massad bin Muhammad Al-Aiban, and the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, attended the meeting.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have come to Egypt’s aid repeatedly since Sisi led the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood a decade ago.

When financial difficulties in Egypt were exposed and exacerbated by the fallout from the war in Ukraine last year, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar made deposits in the Central Bank of Egypt and undertook significant new investments.

But those investments have been slow to happen, putting new pressure on the Egyptian pound in recent weeks despite the currency losing nearly half of its value against the dollar since March 2022.

Egypt signed a $3 billion rescue plan with the International Monetary Fund in December, targeting foreign direct investment of $9.7 billion in the fiscal year ending in June 2023.

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