Interim President Adly Mansour assured that there are no strings attached to the billions of dollars in aid promised to Egypt from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported on Monday.
Mansour made the statements as he embarked on his first regional tour since assuming office after the military deposed former President Mohamed Morsi in July.
King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz and Crown Prince Salman bin Abdel Aziz received him in Jeddah on Monday, and Mansour is also scheduled to meet Jordan’s King Abdullah on Tuesday.
“Any aid Egypt received recently is not linked to any conditions or requirements from the donor countries,” the interim president said in an interview with the privately owned Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, adding that Egypt would never, under any circumstances, submit to terms and conditions.
In his interview, Mansour said that “Egypt’s democracy train has taken off” with the support of Saudi and other Arab countries.
His visit to Saudi would involve expressing appreciation for the kingdom’s support, as well as “activating” partnerships and economic cooperation opportunities between the two countries, highlighting their important roles in the region, Mansour continued.
He said that relations between both countries were strained under Morsi’s reign, and that they need to be put back on the correct path.
Jordan has also expressed its support for the interim government, and made a statement rejecting any foreign intervention in Egyptian affairs, while Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz appealed to leaders in the Arab and Muslim world to stand united against those “destabilizing” Egypt.
Saudi Arabia has been a strong supporter of the post-Morsi interim government, and with Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates has pledged US$12 billion in financing to support Egypt’s ailing economy.
Relations with the three Gulf states had been tense under Morsi, whose government was a close ally to Turkey and Qatar.
Late last month, Egypt returned US$2 billion to Qatar after negotiations failed to convert the funds into three-year bonds. Returning the aid to Qatar could be seen as a symptom of increasingly strained relations between the two countries since the Armed Forces removed Morsi from power and installed a pro-military interim government.
Qatar, seen as a Muslim Brotherhood ally, had initially pledged US$5 billion total to support Morsi’s government in the midst of a rapidly deteriorating economy.