No power can destroy Arab unity

King Salman's visit to Egypt shows Arab countries will be there for each other

By Ahmed Mokhtar (Cairo Insights)

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Published: Thu 21 Apr 2016, 10:55 PM

The historic visit to Egypt by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, carried a number of important political and economic messages.
These messages are not only limited to bilateral relations between the two countries, they also went beyond that to reveal the hatred of some lurkers who are wary of strong ties between Egypt and the Gulf States, especially the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Those haters of the Arab nation have been very active since the visit started, trying to bring down hopes for a successful visit. They said improved Egypt-Saudi ties might affect relations with the UAE in a negative way.
Some even claimed that Egypt "relinquished sovereignty" over Tiran and Sanafir islands, and tried to undermine the Red Sea bridge project that will connect Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Amid all of these frantic attempts, facts on the ground prove that stronger Egyptian-Saudi ties are based on history and stances since the 30th of June revolution, when the UAE, KSA and Kuwait announced their full support to Egypt and its leadership. They prevented the Egyptian economy from collapse. Additionally, the three Arab states moved diplomatically to prevent punitive measures against the Egyptian state by the United States of America and the European Union.
It is clear that cooperation frameworks between Egypt, the UAE and KSA during the last two years had never been at variance with each other. They started by providing grants and other financial assistance, including covering petroleum products needs, as an emergency solution that showed Egypt would never stand alone. This helped Egypt overcome a very critical economic crisis.
After the crisis, Emirati support to Egypt was directed at upgrading health services and infrastructure facilities, including transportation and clean energy. This gave the Egyptian government the flexibility to direct its finance resources to other fields. Moreover, several projects in Egypt, financed by the UAE, are to be opened soon.
As for Egyptian-Saudi cooperation, it was mainly focused on revitalising joint investments, facilitating bilateral trade, establishing urban communities in Sinai and solving problems faced by Saudi companies operating in Egypt. This is in addition to signing a number of MOUs in the fields of housing, education and oil, as well as other projects worth more than $4 billion to help develop the Suez Canal area, and the Red Sea bridge project which will connect KSA with Egypt.
There is also the aspect of Arab national security. Enhanced Egypt-Gulf ties is in fact a strategic alliance that has the ability to confront the ambitions of some countries in the region.
Driving a wedge between Egypt and Gulf states will never work. The stronger the ties, the stronger the attacks will be. Withstanding such attacks will require persistence and hard work.
Arab leaders are now continuing a path that was started by their wise ancestors like the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late King Abdulaziz Al Saud who believed that the power of Arabs lies in them standing together as one.
- The writer is the managing editor of Al Ahram Al Massa

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