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The New Arab

Building bridges to seal $1.7 billion Riyadh-Cairo deal

Saudi sent its biggest delegation on the official five-day visit to Egypt [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 April, 2016

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The Saudi king has signed 17 investment deals worth more than a billion dollars, including the construction of a new bridge between the two states.
A bridge will be built over the Red Sea, linking Africa and Asia, according to a new agreement announced by Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Egypt's President Sisi.

King Salman made the televised announcement on the second day of his official visit to Egypt - described by analysts as "historic", with a delegation of at least 18 ministers and 25 princes form the kingdom.

"I agreed with my brother, His Excellency President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to build a bridge connecting the two countries," Salman said.

"This historic step to connect the two continents, Africa and Asia, is a qualitative transformation that will increase trade between the two continents to unprecedented levels," he added.

The bridge will be named after the Saudi king, Sisi told a room full of applauding officials at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo.

Read more: Mohammad bin Salman plays hardball with his economic revolution [comment] 



Deals


Cairo University also presented the Saudi king with an honorary degree in recognition of a $120 million pledge to renovate the capital's Qasr el-Aini hospital.

Saudi Arabia's king on an official visit to Egypt

No fewer than 17 investment deals, varying from construction of a hospital, a university and projects within the education sector, were signed following the announcement.

The Saudi royal was awarded with Egypt's highest state honour - the Nile Collar - which is granted for exceptional services to the nation.

Salman's five-day visit to Egypt is said to finalise $1.7 billion of deals, and is expected to make history when he becomes the first Saudi royal to meet with the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II.

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