Egypt's Sisi receives invite to upcoming Riyadh Trump summit

Egypt's Sisi receives invite to upcoming Riyadh Trump summit
2 min read
14 May, 2017
The summit is set to take place in the Saudi capital on May 21.
Sisi and Trump have enjoyed cordial relations since the US President took office [Getty]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has received a personal message from Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz inviting him to participate in an upcoming summit involving Arab leaders and US President Donald Trump, Egypt's presidential office said on Saturday.

In the statement Sisi did not explicitly confirm his attendance for the summit set to take place in Riyadh on May 21.

However, the Egyptian president expressed thanks for the invitation for the Saudi monarch, stating that he wished for a positive outcome to the summit "which supports efforts to achieve security and stability in the Middle East."

Arab leaders set to take place in the summit include the heads of state of Jordan, Algeria, and Niger, while the Saudi Press Agency reported earlier this week that Salman had also asked Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansur Hadi and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to attend.

The Arab News daily also reported on Wednesday that the leaders of Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, and Tunisia have received invitations. 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri are also reported to have received invitations. 

In total more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders are set to attend, according to reports published by Reuters.

Sisi and Trump have enjoyed cordial relations since Trump took office in the White House following his shock election victory over Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton.

Relations between Cairo and Riyadh - traditional allies - also appear to be warming following a notable downturn last year when Saudi Arabia abruptly suspended oil aid to Egypt just days after Cairo backed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria drafted by Bashar al-Assad's ally Russia.

Trump announced earlier this month that his first foreign visit would be to Saudi Arabia, followed by Israel, and then the Vatican. 

During the Riyadh summit the US President is set to discuss matters of regional significance including: how to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State group, ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and maritime shipping threats in the Red Sea. 

The US is set to complete a series of arms deals with Saudi Arabia worth more than $100 billion, an unnamed senior White House Official told Reuters on Friday.

According to the official, the US could boost the kingdom's defence capabilities with a package that may surpass $300 billion over a decade.