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".


Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

Updated 24 min 43 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

  • A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally
  • “This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

RIYADH: Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers, including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225 kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.