Saudi ambassador returns to Cairo after recall to Riyadh

Saudi ambassador to Egypt Ahmed al-Qattan arrived in Cairo on Saturday after a three-day visit to Riyadh, where he he discussed Saudi-Egypt relations with government and ministry figures.

Qattan was recalled to Riyadh last week after Riyadh objected to Egypt's support for a Russian proposal for a ceasefire in Syria. The proposal was put for a vote at the UN Security Council, along with a competing French proposal, and Egypt backed both.

The Saudi government, which supports rebels and Islamist insurgents fighting in Syria, objects to Russian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The recall of Qattan also followed rumours that Saudi Aramco was halting supplies of petroleum products to Egypt.

On arrival back in Egypt, Qattan offered his condolences for the deaths of 12 Egyptian soldiers in a terrorist attack in Sinai on Thursday. "Deepest condolences for Egypt’s victims in Sinai,” he posted on Twitter.

Commenting on the recent tensions between the two governments, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said that plans for development projects in Sinai would not be affected.

Saudi investments in Sinai are estimated at over US$172 million, involving 23 companies. South Sinai is in ninth place among those governorates in which Saudi companies have investments, while North Sinai comes in the 16th place.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said Egypt does not interfere in relations between other countries, even when other nations adopt negative stances toward Egypt.

Asked about the Emirati foreign minister’s visit to Turkey on Sunday, Abu Zeid said Egypt trusts the stances taken by Arab countries that consider Egyptian interests.

The Saudi and Egyptian ministries of electricity are currently involved in negotiations over tenders for electricity transformers connecting the two nations.

In a statement, Egypt's Electricity Ministry said the project is aimed at exchanging energy between the two countries, taking advantage of the different loads between the two countries as result of the different peak times. Saudi Arabia's peak time is around noon, while in Egypt it is after sunset.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm and MENA

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