Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry attempted on Wednesday to alleviate the tension between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, saying that bilateral ties between the two countries are strong and historic.
In an interview with London’s Middle East newspaper, Shoukry said bilateral relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia are special in terms of the leadership and the people of the two countries.
According to Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai, deputy foreign minister Khaled Al-Jarallah said on Tuesday that Kuwait will attempt to mediate between Egypt and Saudi Arabia to find a common ground between them and bring their visions closer together.
Bilateral relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been significantly strained in recent times, following Egypt’s vote in favour of the Russian draft resolution in the United Nations security council in October. Saudi envoy to the UN described this vote as “painful”. Saudi Arabia is backing the rebels in Syria while Russia, along with Iran, are backing Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad.
Political analyst Tarek Fahmy previously told Daily News Egypt that the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen that fights Houthi rebels is also one of the main problems between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as Egypt supported the coalition and became part of it; however, it has not made major contributions to it.
Another obstacle that led the two countries to their current dead-end is that Egypt has not sufficiently supported Saudi Arabia in the Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). This law would have given US citizens who lost acquaintances and relatives in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center the right to sue Saudi Arabia. However, this law was vetoed by US president Barack Obama.
This is not the first time Shoukry denied tension with Saudi Arabia. In a press conference with his Spanish counterpart in October, Shoukry said that ties between the two countries are rather strong.