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Egypt secures $2bn Saudi aid - Minister


Egypt is to receive a $2 billion deposit from Saudi Arabia, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said on Thursday.

Sahar did not specify when the money was expected to arrive, saying in a message: “We only signed … two months ago.”

Egypt’s economy has been struggling since the 2011 uprising that overthrew longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, with high inflation and foreign currency shortages.

The north African nation signed last week a $12 billion loan with IMF to help the Arab world’s most populous country mend its ailing economy following years of unrest.

Saudi Arabia has been – along with Kuwait and UAE – a strong supporter of the government of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, providing Cairo with cash, loans and oil shipments.

In 2015, trade between Egypt and Saudi Arabia totalled $6.3 billion, compared to around five billion dollars the year before.

In April, Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed loan agreements and economic cooperation accords worth over $24 billion.

The accords included $22 billion in finance for Egypt’s five-year petroleum needs and a $1.5 billion concessional loan and $200 million grant from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to upgrade Sinai’s infrastructure and finance transportation, housing and agricultural projects.

The agreement also included a $120 million concessional loan from the SFD to renovate Cairo’s historical Kasr El-Aini Hospital and another $100 million loan to finance the expansion of the West Cairo power station to generate an additional 650 megawatts.

These agreements include establishing the Egyptian-Saudi investment fund worth some $16 billion, in addition to Josur Al-Mahabba Company developing the Suez Canal area with EGP 3 billion (roughly $337 million).

El-Sisi and King Salman also signed an agreement to establish a bridge over the Red Sea to connect the two countries, which separates, with experts saying that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir will be important spots in the construction process.

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