Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will begin a three-nation trip to the United Arab Emirates, India and Bahrain this week, a spokesperson said.
Starting from Tuesday October 27, Sisi’s first stop will be in the UAE where he will discuss the countries’ joint efforts on various regional matters.
“Talks in Abu Dhabi will centre on ways of further strengthening the distinguished bilateral ties in a way that bolsters existing strategic cooperation in light of challenges the region is experiencing,” spokesperson Alaa Youssef was quoted as saying by the UAE’s state news agency WAM.
From Abu Dhabi, Sisi will travel to India to attend the upcoming India-Africa forum Summit. He will also be holding talks with the Indian president Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sisi is then expected to travel to Bahrain to meet the country’s ruler King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to discuss matters of regional security and ways to tackle issues such as terrorism and domestic militancy.
Gulf leaders consider Sisi, who came into power in 2013 after toppling Egypt’s previous president Mohammed Mursi, as a valuable ally in the fight against the regional militant groups.
The Egyptian head of state has also been partially successful in clamping down on the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that the UAE and Saudi Arabia have outlawed. The president is also fighting an insurgency in Sinai that is orchestrated by a group affiliated to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
In addition to cooperating on various security matters, Egypt has also been benefitting from the monetary aid provided by the Gulf countries.
The UAE and other Gulf Arab countries promised more than $12bn in financial aid after the country ousted Muslim Brotherhood figure Mursi in 2013.
But Egyptian officials have admitted to receiving far more than the initial sum of aid promised. Earlier this year, Egypt’s investment minister Ashraf Salman said the country had received aid worth $23bn from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait since the removal of Mursi.
Such support has helped the country tide through financial hardship caused by years of economic stagnation.