Saudi Crown Prince, Egyptian president sign deal to activate $16 billion investment fund

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman arrives in Cairo. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman arrives in Cairo. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman arrives in Cairo. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman arrives in Cairo. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman lands in Cairo and is received by President El-Sisi. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman lands in Cairo and is received by President El-Sisi. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman lands in Cairo and is received by President El-Sisi. (SPA)
Updated 05 March 2018
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Saudi Crown Prince, Egyptian president sign deal to activate $16 billion investment fund

CAIRO: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman landed in Egypt on Sunday where he was received by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on the first leg of his maiden foreign tour as heir to the throne.
Within hours of arriving, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to activate a 60-billion Saudi riyal ($16 billion) investment fund.
They also signed agreements to continue cooperation in resolving political crises in the Middle East, and a commitment to environmental protection.
Prince Mohammed, the Saudi deputy prime minister and minister of defense, was greeted by El-Sisi as he landed at Cairo International Airport.
During meetings, the two sides reviewed “strategic bilateral relations and discussed developments in the region “especially issues related to security and stability” and “fighting terrorism,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Crown Prince’s visit to Egypt was his first since he became crown prince in June of last year.
“The Egyptian president reaffirmed that the security of the Gulf is an integral part of Egyptian national security,” Egypt’s presidential spokesman, Bassam Rady said.
"President El-Sisi expressed Egypt's keenness to enhance bilateral cooperation with Saudi Arabia in all fields, in a way that reflects the level of strategic partnership between the two countries", Rady said.
Rady also highlighted the significance of the visit's timing in light of the "great challenges currently taking place in the Middle East, which require mutual coordination between Egypt and Saudi Arabia."
Ahead of the visit, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said the Crown Prince and El-Sisi would “discuss the political situation in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Libya.”
Prince Mohammed will also meet Prime Minister Sharif Ismail, the parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal, the grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Tayeb and Pope Tawadros, the head of the Egyptian church.
The crown prince is expected to visit Ismailia today where he will tour some of Egypt’s national projects including the new channel of the Suez Canal.
In preparation, the Ismailia Governorate has decorated the route along which they will travel with flags.
Later they will attended a performance of the show “Salem Nafsak” (Surrender Yourself) at the Cairo Opera House. 
The Coptic Orthodox Church announced that Prince Mohammed would visit the main St. Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in Cairo. 
Pope Tawadros II met King Salman at his residence during his visit to Cairo in April 2016.
Also on Sunday, US President Donald Trump called El-Sisi to discuss with him “regional issues” and “ways of combating terrorism,” a statement from the Egyptian presidency said.
Prince Mohammed stressed that his keenness to conduct his first foreign visit as Crown Prince "reflects the depth and strength of relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which are bound by common history and one destiny".


Hafez Gallery organizes art fair

Syrian artist Osama Esid’s photography explores personal identity. (Supplied)
Updated 13 min 37 sec ago
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Hafez Gallery organizes art fair

JEDDAH: The Hafez Gallery has organized the Shara Art Fair at the Saudi Art Council’s headquarters, bringing together five galleries from around Jeddah.
“I’ve been exhibiting with the Hafez Gallery for the past four years, ever since it started,” Osama Esid, from Damascus, told Arab News.
His painting at the art fair, “Zamakan,” is “about refugees sinking as they try to cross vast stretches of water,” he said.
He created the painting “in the dark to show the final resting place of these refugees,” he added. “I’d use brushes, sticks, and sometimes even my fingers.”
Artist Bashair Hawsawi told Arab News that his piece, showing a couple of broom heads attached back to back, “reflects the experiences I went through this year, because I want to clean my thoughts and ideas from negative
things.” He added: “When I was young, people would comment on my shyness and weakness, so I started to be aware of this, and that helped me work out who I really wanted to be.”
Khalid Zahid, known for his Islamic-themed modern art, exhibited balloons shaped like mosques in different colors. “The concept is called ‘Joyful.’ What I wanted to show was how balloons bring joy whether you’re young or old,” he told Arab News.
“As for the shape, I wanted to show how Islam brings joy to people. That’s why they (the balloons) look like mosques.”