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Saudi King Salman, Coptic pope to hold historic meeting

April 9, 2016 at 5:15 pm

The Egyptian Coptic Church announced that Pope Tawadros II will meet Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is currently visiting Egypt.

King Salman arrived in Cairo on Thursday in his second official visit to the Arab country since he rose to power in 2015.

“This is the first time that a Saudi king will meet the pope of the Egyptian church,” the Friday statement said.

Meanwhile, King Salman, in a joint press conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, announced a project to build a bridge between Egypt and Saudi Arabia via the Red Sea.

Egyptian-Saudi relations have witnessed cooperation in many areas following the 2013 military coup against Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first-ever democratically elected president.

After King Salman came to power, however, the gap between Cairo and Riyadh has widened because of differences in approaching regional conflicts.

Trade between Egypt and Saudi Arabia has reached $5.3 billion in 2015, up from $4.4 billion in 2012.