King, El-Sissi push for Arab solidarity
• Egypt, Saudi see Islamist militancy as main threat
• Saudi, Gulf allies gave Egypt $20 billion in aid
• Gaza cease-fire also focus of talks
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi held talks in Jeddah on major regional issues, including Cairo’s efforts to achieve a permanent truce in Gaza and protect innocent Palestinians from Israeli aggression.
“The two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and major developments at the Islamic, Arab and international levels, most importantly the developments in the occupied Palestinian territories and efforts to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza,” an official statement said.
During the meeting, King Abdullah decorated El-Sissi with the King Abdul Aziz Medallion, which is usually awarded to prominent world leaders, the statement said, adding that it was given to honor the president and the Egyptian people.
El-Sissi thanked the king for the honour.
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said the meeting between King Abdullah and El-Sissi was important in light of regional developments.
He hoped the meeting would contribute to improving the situation in the Arab world, which is witnessing external wars, interference of foreign forces, civil strife and internal conflict.
According to a statement issued by the Egyptian Presidency, the summit talks in Jeddah also emphasized the need to resume Middle East peace negotiations to retrieve legitimate Palestinians rights, including an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt have agreed on exerting efforts to change the prevailing distorted global image about Islam, currently largely viewed as linked to acts of violence and terrorism.
“The summit focused on realizing the aspiration for Arab integration, bolstering joint Arab action and promoting the Islamic values of moderation that renounce terrorism, extremism and violence, as well as exerting efforts to correct the stereotypical image of Islam in the world,” said Ihab Badawi, presidential spokesman.
“The talks also reviewed the developments in Iraq and the impact of terrorist operations on the country and the region. The two leaders also discussed the situations in Syria and Libya and their implications on Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Arab national security,” the statement said.
Saudi and Egyptian political analysts emphasized the significance of the summit talks in Jeddah, saying it would help the two countries take up major Arab issues and stand together in the fight against terror.
El-Sissi’s visit would strengthen economic and trade ties, they added.