Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is visiting his close allies in the Middle East before attending the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Argentina on November 30. MbS arrived in Egypt on Monday.
After visiting Mohammad b. Zayed in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, and both King Hamad and Crown Prince Salman b. Hamad al-Khalifa in Bahrain on Monday 25 November, his visit to Egypt is the third leg of his first trip abroad since the murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey last month. In Bahrain, MbS was given the Order of Sheikh Isa b. Salman al-Khalifa of the Exceptional Class in recognition of his efforts in supporting and strengthening Saudi Arabia-Bahrain relations.
On his arrival to Cairo on November 26, Crown Prince Salman was greeted by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. In total this is the sixth visit of the Saudi Crown Prince to Cairo, and the second since he assumed the post of Crown Prince in June 2017.
As a result of bilateral agreements, Saudi Arabia is becoming the largest Arab investor in the Egyptian market, and the second largest foreign investor in general, accounting for 11 percent of total foreign investment in Egypt.
During his last visit in March of this year, the two countries signed bilateral agreements involving billions of dollar investments in projects by Saudi Arabia in Egypt. As a result of these agreements, Saudi Arabia is becoming the largest Arab investor in the Egyptian market, and the second largest foreign investor in general, accounting for 11 percent of total foreign investment in Egypt.
Prince Salman is expected to travel to Tunisia after his two-day visit to Egypt before leaving for the G20 in Buenos Aires at the end of the month.
According to news reported by Reuters, Tunisian activists and journalists staged a small protest in the capital Tunis on Monday against Mohammad bin Salman’s planned visit. Turkish newspaper YeniSafak claimed that the Egyptian Civil Democratic Movement, a liberal political movement formed in Egypt in 2017, issued a statement titled ‘Not Welcome,’ criticizing the Crown Prince’s visit to Egypt.
The controversy as to whether Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will attend the G20 remained high on the political agenda. A new aspect added to this debate was reported by The Guardian, which claimed that Argentina prosecutors are considering charges against MbS at the G20.
*Written by Selahattin Emre Celebi.