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

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 gamers lead the way at Nexus e-sports festival

Updated 1 min 50 sec ago

Saudi gamers lead the way at Nexus e-sports festival

  • The 3-day festival ended with a spectacular performance by R&B singer Jason Derulo
  • The festival aims to promote electronic sports in the region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s EGZ was crowned champions in the main competition as American R&B star Jason Derulo ended the three-day Nexus gaming festival with a spectacular performance in Riyadh on Saturday.
The festival, an initiative of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA), was the first to be staged by Riot Games in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as part of its strategy to promote electronic sports in the region.
Hundreds of people gathered at Riyadh Boulevard to witness the finals of the six competitions based on the League of Legends, and to enjoy a variety of activities and attractions.
EGZ won $400,000 as part of the total $2 million prize fund after defeating Nasr Esports in the main 5v5 Summoners Rift competition.
Coach Paul Ouani said that the festival was a great learning experience for his team and he hopes Riot Games can build on this success.
“Having the Nexus festival here is a great decision. There is enormous potential in e-sports, especially in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. With many people watching online and live at venues, it will only get bigger,” he said
Other winners included Bassel (5v5 influencer final) and Abdulrahman Toxichill Bahmaid (1v1 champion).
As well as promoting gaming, the three-day festival also featured a music concert by US line-ups Mako and the Crystal Method, and a variety of entertainment.
Onur Tamer, METAI general manager of Riot Games, said: “As the first event on this scale for the region, it was a fantastic effort by the whole team. We have delivered something that the community has been expecting for a long time and it was great to see strong turnout during the three days.
“Attracting people of different ages is crucial in this region and we wanted to focus on three pillars — the gaming tournament, the festival area where the players would interact, and the musical experiences. We delivered that and everything was great, especially the cosplay, where a lot of people were interested.
“It is not just about gaming but going beyond that and opening League of Legends and e-sports to all people in this region,” he said.
“This event has shown that a lot of people have embraced the opportunity of visiting and learning more about League of Legends.”
Tamer said that future plans include an Arabic version of League of Legends.
“People want us to create a specific Arabic character, but it really depends on the creativity and bringing everything together to make it happen,” he said.