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Sisi Says Egypt Is Keen on Integration with Saudi Arabia in ‘Neom’

Sisi Says Egypt Is Keen on Integration with Saudi Arabia in ‘Neom’

Friday, 10 November, 2017 - 12:00
Visitors watch a 3D presentation during an exhibition on 'Neom', a new business and industrial city, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/Files

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi made the first high-level remark affirming Cairo’s full support for integration with Saudi Arabia in “Neom”.

Neom is a planned transnational city and economic zone to be constructed in the border region of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt (via a proposed bridge across the Gulf of Aqaba).

The megacity was announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 24, 2017.

He said it will operate independently from the “existing governmental framework” with its own tax and labor laws and an autonomous judicial system.

Speaking at a meeting with a number of Egyptian and foreign media representatives on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum held in Sharm El-Sheikh, South Sinai, Sisi said that Cairo "is keen to integrate with Saudi Arabia in projects that benefit all."

The President stressed that work is being done on "equipping other projects with Saudi Arabia" and referred to the ongoing developing of a 6-lane road network connecting Port Said to the Gulf of Suez, and Sharm el-Sheikh.

When Crown Prince Mohammed announced the launching of Neom, he said it would be a "special area and a new destination located northwest of the Kingdom."

Neom joins together territory from within the Egyptian and Jordanian borders and provides a lot of development opportunities. The transitional city will also be funded with over $ 500 billion in coming years pumped by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Transport, the Egyptian government is paying great attention to the "National Project for the Development of the Eastern Suez Canal" and explains that the implementation of three tunnels in the Ismailia governorate to cross the Suez Canal will play an important role ".

It is also planned to establish another three tunnels south of Port Said city, at the overall cost of $ 4 billion for the six tunnels.

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