Unshakeable support: Egypt's leader starts Gulf tour with UAE

Unshakeable support: Egypt's leader starts Gulf tour with UAE
Egyptian President Sisi begins a four day visit to the Gulf on Wednesday where he will spend half of his time in UAE before visiting Kuwait and Bahrain
2 min read
Relations between Sisi and UAE rulers remain strong [Getty]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi started a two day state visit to the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

This is the president’s second visit in less than six months, after taking part in UAE’s National Day celebrations in Abu Dhabi last December.

The visit “comes within the framework of brotherly relations,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"Protecting Arab national security is one of the top items on Sisi’s agenda. Egypt is a member of an armed coalition led by Saudi Arabia and UAE fighting rebel groups in Yemen," the statement added.

The UAE has supported Sisi’s regime both politically and financially. In August 2016, the oil rich gulf nation gave Egypt a one billion dollar deposit in a bid to support the country’s failing economy. Four months earlier, it had given Sisi’s government two billion dollars in investment and another two billion dollar deposit. Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed pledged “unshakeable support to Egypt and its people”.

UAE had also funded Tamarod, the civil campaign to overthrow Egypt’s democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi and celebrated Sisi’s July 2013 coup announcement.

That same month, the UAE sentenced 56 Emiratis to lengthy prison terms for conspiracy to overthrow the government. The accused were also labelled members of the Al-Islah movement, a group affiliated with Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. A year later, in March 2014, the Gulf nation declared the Muslim Brotherhood and any of its offshoot groups ‘terrorist organisations’.

After his trip to the UAE, Sisi will visit Kuwait and Bahrain concluding his Gulf tour on Sunday.