Saudi Arabia and Egypt have announced a project to link the two countries by a bridge across the Red Sea.
Saudi’s King Salman disclosed the plans during the second day of his visit to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, saying that the bridge would boost commerce between the two nations.
The king met with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to discuss a range of issues and topics, and to sign a number of investment deals.
About the bridge, King Salman said: “I agreed with my brother, his excellency president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, to build a bridge connecting the two countries.
“This historic step to connect the two continents, Africa and Asia, is a qualitative transformation that will increase trade between the two continents to unprecedented levels.”
The exact location of the bridge was not mentioned, but the closest the two countries are to each other is at Nabq, north of Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh, and Ras Alsheikh Hamid in Saudi Arabia, where the distance is 16 kilometres.
Al Sisi said the bridge would be named after the Saudi king, and called the plan “a new chapter on the road of Arab joint action”.
“The unique quality of the relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the extent to which they are strong and deep-rooted, will allow us to face mutual challenges,” he added, before explaining that their cooperation “will certainly allow us to resolve all of our regional crises, such as in Palestine, Yemen, Libya and Syria”.
Proposals for a bridge linking the two nations have been made before, but never materialised. Previous estimates for the cost of such a project have been set at around $3-4bn, but no information has be given regarding the expected cost of the new plan.