Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is expected to sign multiple agreements with Saudi Arabia worth $US 21.5 billion during King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s visit later this week.
According to Al-Ahram, the $US 21.5 billion agreements largely consist of soft loans that will allow Egypt to finance its petroleum needs from Saudi Arabia. Among the agreements are also $US 1.5 billion in development projects in Egypt’s Sinai, and $US 120 million to renovate Cairo’s Qasr El-Aini hospital, reported Ahram Online.
The $US 1.5 billion in development projects was confirmed by Egypt’s International Cooperation Minister in March. According to the Minister, the funds will be used in development of the peninsula (including North Sinai), including agricultural and residential projects, in addition to building a university.
The Minister added that Saudi Arabia will finance Egypt’s petroleum needs for the next five years.
Meanwhile, in December, Saudi Arabia pledged approximately $US 8 billion of investments to Egypt.
Relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia have strengthened since then-Defense Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi led a popularly-backed military coup against Morsi.
The strengthened relations have seen Al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman paying each other several visits since the former rose to power. Most recently, Al-Sisi visited the Gulf nation to attend the finale of a joint military exercise. King Salman’s visit was preceded by a visit of high profile Saudi officials.
Saudi Arabia, with other Arab Gulf states, has pumped billions of dollars into Egypt’s crisis-ridden economy, which has in the past years seen its foreign currency reserves rapidly depleting.