Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb discussed the “historical” ties that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) share with top Emirati officials, after arriving in Dubai Tuesday.
In a meeting with Emirati Prime Minister and Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the two discussed political, economic and developmental matters related to the current Arab situation, the Emirati state agency WAM reported.
They discussed ways to utilise Arabic potential and resources to serve the Arab nation. The counterparts also discussed ways to strengthen and develop bi-lateral ties, a statement issued by the Egyptian cabinet said.
Mehleb thanked the UAE for supporting the Egyptian people, politically and economically. The UAE, among other Gulf countries, was quick to back the power shift that swept Egypt in July and led to the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi. According to the cabinet statement, Al Maktoum stressed Egypt’s important and central role in the Middle East, adding: “Egypt’s security and stability is considered the main pillar of security and stability in the Arab world.”
Within days of the power change, the UAE announced the provision of a $3bn aid package to Egypt comprised of a $1bn grant and a $2bn interest-free deposit at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). The UAE also provided seven shipments of fuel worth $225m. In September, the UAE pledged to send $2bn in additional aid to Egypt in the form of deposits and grants.
Mehleb visited the UAE in response to an invitation to attend the 13th Arab Media Forum. In his speech during the forum, Mehleb said: “Today our nation faces a counter-revolution,” caused by the “alliance of terrorism and failure.” However, he added: “We will move forward as we have done before… there is absolutely no turning back.”
“We will never forget the hands extended to us in support and assistance,” he said.
Mehleb and the delegation of ministers he led to the UAE were received by Emirati Minister of State Sultan Ahmed Al-Gaber. Last month, Al-Gaber and Mehleb met to discuss development projects funded by the UAE, as per a $4.9bn agreement signed in October.
Mehleb was accompanied by Minister of Information Doreya Sharaf Al-Din, Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and Investment Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf Al-Araby.