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Saudi crown prince discusses economy in Egypt

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CAIRO (AFP) – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continued a visit to Egypt yesterday focused on economic cooperation, with Riyadh agreeing a US$10 billion investment with Cairo for a futuristic mega city project.

Prince Mohammed accompanied Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to review construction projects near the Suez Canal before boarding a boat with the president to tour the waterway.

A Saudi government source said the two countries had agreed to set up a joint $10 billion fund to develop areas of Egypt linked to the NEOM project. The $500 billion NEOM mega city, unveiled by Prince Mohammed last year, is planned to be a biotech and digital hub spread over 26,500 square kilometres in an area facing Jordan and Egypt.

The Saudi government source said the joint fund, which involves leased land for the Egyptian share, would be used to develop lands in the south of the Sinai Peninsula as part of NEOM.

Prince Mohammed, who landed in Cairo on Sunday, is to fly to Britain tomorrow and later this month to the United States, in his first foreign tour as crown prince. His visit to Egypt deals with “economic and investment cooperation,” Egyptian presidency spokesman Bassam Radi told state television.

Prince Mohammed and Mr Sisi agreed in talks to bolster economic ties and launch joint projects, “particularly in the tourism sector on the Red Sea,” Radi said.

Saudi Arabia views Egypt as a cornerstone of regional stability, after former army chief Sisi overthrew his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

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