Roundup: Saudi crown prince wraps up regional tour for mending rifts, enhancing cooperation

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CAIRO, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud on Wednesday wrapped up his three-nation regional tour that aimed at mending rifts and strengthening cooperation with the countries.

The three-day trip, which brought the crown prince to Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, saw the signing of investment deals and pledges to strengthen bilateral cooperations.

During his visit in Turkey, the first in years since the death of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018, the two sides declared their joint determination to "start a new period of cooperation in bilateral relations."

The statement solidified the turnaround in their relations, which had been strained after the murder of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Faced with economic woes unseen in decades, Turkey has in recent months taken steps to restore ties with Riyadh and other Gulf Arab countries.

In April, a Turkish court decided to halt the trial of Saudi Arabian suspects over the death of Khashoggi and transfer the proceedings to the Saudi authorities. Weeks after the court's decision, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Saudi Arabia to meet with the Saudi king and crown prince, signaling a thaw in the tense ties.

The Saudi crown prince's tour also witnessed the signing of investment deals in Egypt, which are valued at 7.7 billion U.S. dollars.

The agreements covered the fields of food and pharmaceutical industries, infrastructure, renewable energy, green hydrogen, e-commerce, digital finance, and information services, said an Egyptian government statement.

Almost half of the agreements were signed with Ajlan and Bros, a Saudi conglomerate, including a deal on building a petrochemical storage facility in Egypt at the cost of 3.36 billion dollars.

The two Arab countries also discussed the security threats and challenges faced by the region and agreed to continue intensive security coordination.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi reiterated Egypt's unwavering position with regard to the Gulf's security, stressing that "it is integral to Egypt's national security, rejecting any practices that seek to destabilize it."

Meanwhile, the Saudi crown prince underscored the importance of continuing intensive coordination and consultations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia to counter the challenges and crises faced by the Arab world.

In Amman, the crown prince and Jordanian King Abdullah II voiced keenness to strengthen the bilateral ties at all levels, while discussing ways to enhance economic cooperation and Saudi investments in Jordan.

The Jordanian king lauded Saudi Arabia's key role in supporting Arab and Islamic causes, while affirming Jordan's full support for Riyadh.

The Saudi crown prince said that Saudi Arabia is keen to boost coordination with Jordan, adding that there will be increased cooperation between the two countries.

The Saudi crown prince's three-nation tour came ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's upcoming trip to the region in next month, including visits to Israel, Palestine and Saudi Arabia. Enditem

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