Egypt's Sisi visits Saudi to congratulate crown prince

May 3, 2015 14:51
1 minute read.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al Sisi made a brief visit to Saudi Arabia on Saturday to congratulate the Saudi royal family, three days after a major royal shakeup.

Saudi King Salman appointed his nephew Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince and heir, and his own son, Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman, as deputy crown prince on Wednesday.

Sisi had already congratulated the crown prince and deputy crown prince by telephone, an official Egyptian government website said on Friday.

Saturday's visit is the third made by Sisi to Saudi Arabia this year.

The appointments mean the kingship will pass to a new generation for the first time since 1953, when the throne passed from the founder of the dynasty, King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, to the first of six of his sons who have held it since.

In another big shift, Salman replaced veteran Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, who had served in the role since October 1975, with the kingdom's Washington ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, the first non-royal to hold the post.

The new crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, enjoys closer personal ties with US officials than almost any other senior royal, diplomats have said.

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