Armed Forces chief of staff visits Saudi Arabia

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sidqy Sobhy arrived for his first visit to Saudi Arabia Sunday to hold talks with his Saudi counterpart and other officials.

Sobhy will oversee the main phase of Egyptian-Saudi naval exercises, in which warships, missile boats, helicopters and naval commandos will take part.

The training began a few days ago and included meetings regarding coordination as well as lectures on submarines, communications and the effects of weather on naval operations.

Hussein al-Kabil, the Saudi military chief of staff, welcomed the Egyptian forces taking part in the training, confirming the importance of exchanging tactical experience and training, command and control techniques, and cooperation to carry out both emergency operations and military plans.

“Egypt and Saudi Arabia are the pillars of the Arab world and shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding the Red Sea, because we have the longest coasts on the sea and have the troops,” Kabil said. “Threats to the Red Sea do not only affect the two countries but also affect the world, as the Red Sea is an important waterway for international community.”

The Egyptian presidential office also denied reports from the Qatar-based satellite channel Al Jazeera that a presidential decree had dismissed Sobhy from his office.

Sobhy was appointed after former Chief of Staff Sami Anan was sent to retirement on 12 August, as part of a cascade of decisions that sacked Egypt’s top military leaders who took over after former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from office.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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