In Wake of Iran Nuke Deal, Egypt and Saudi Arabia Sign Mutual Defense Pact
JNS.org – In the wake of the Iran nuclear deal, Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed a pact boosting military and economic cooperation between the two leading Arab states.
On Thursday, a Saudi delegation led by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Cairo and met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, where they attended a military parade together.
“The two sides stressed the need to exert all efforts to boost security and stability in the region, and to work together to protect Arab national security,” Sisi’s office said, AFP reported.
According to the “Cairo Declaration,” both sides will work towards developing military cooperation, including establishing a Joint Arab Force, as well as enhancing joint cooperation and investment in the fields of energy, electricity and transportation, Al-Ahram reported.
In a possible reference to the threat posed by the Islamic State terror group, both countries also said they will strengthen cooperation in politics, culture and media “to jointly counter the dangers of the current regional destabilization.”
Saudi Arabia has been a key ally of Sisi’s since he ousted Muslim Brotherhood leader and Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in 2013. As the head of the Arab world’s most populous state, the Saudis view Sisi as a bulwark against further regional destabilization. Sisi has used the nearly $4 billion in aid from Saudi Arabia to bolster his military and fledgling economy to counter the threat of Islamic extremism, especially in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula and neighboring Libya.
Meanwhile, the U.S. announced that it will deliver eight F-16 fighter jets to Egypt within the next two days, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The statement added that an additional four F-16s will be delivered in the fall.