By Arab News
Saudi Arabia’s Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman called for “unity” and “joint alliance” during his historic speech at Egypt’s Parliament on Sunday where he became the first Arab leader to deliver such an address in Cairo.
“To remedy issues of our nations, with the Palestinian cause at the forefront, we are required to be united in one stance, one word,” he said, adding: “The Saudi-Egyptian cooperation we are witnessing today is a blessed beginning for our Arab and Muslim world to achieve balance after years of destabilization.”
King Salman’s address was received with roaring applause and a standing ovation.
Some MPs waved the Kingdom’s green flag, while others chanted “all of Egypt greets you.”
Joint efforts by Saudi Arabia and Egypt will “hasten the elimination of terrorism,” he said.
“Experiences have shown that work amid joint alliance makes us much stronger.”
In his six-minute address, King Salman also said that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have agreed to build a bridge linking the nations across the Red Sea and to work together to create a pan-Arab defense force.
“We are working together to launch an Arab joint force,” he said, adding that “terrorism” and “radicalism” must be fought financially, militarily and ideologically.
The king also reiterated and hailed the deals inked between Saudi Arabia and Egypt after the two agreed to set up a $16 billion investment fund Saturday and settled a maritime dispute.
He said the planned bridge over the Red Sea will not only “connect Asia and Africa” but it will be a “gate to Africa,” boosting exports of the two countries and creating job opportunities for people in the region.
He also said the planned free trade zone in northern Sinai Peninsula will also boost the region economically.
“Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Egypt have a historic opportunity to achieve huge economic leaps by cooperating with each other,” he said.
Saudi Arabia has been a traditional source of economic and political support to Egypt.
Before his address, Egypt’s Parliament Speaker Ali Abdul Al-Aal said “this is the first time a Saudi king talks with Egypt’s people from this (Parliament) dome.”
He said: “Egypt and Saudi Arabia are the backbone of Arab and Islamic nations. The cooperation between the two countries is the only way to abort the schemes of enemies and to accelerate the end of terrorism.”