Saudi King expresses 'full confidence' in Egypt security

Saudi King expresses 'full confidence' in Egypt security
2 min read
12 November, 2015
Saudi Arabia's King Salman has expressed support for Egyptian security measures and tourism following the downing of a Russian jet, as clashes continue between military and militants in North Sinai.
Saudi's King Salman has stressed full confidence in Egyptian security, army and government [Getty]

Saudi King Salman has expressed "full confidence" in Egyptian security measures, ordering Riyadh's national airline to continue flights to Sharm el-Sheikh despite suspicions a bomb downed a Russian jet flying from the resort.

A backer of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the king "directed Saudi Arabian Airlines to continue running flights to Sharm el-Sheikh from Riyadh and Jeddah in support of tourism in the Arab Republic of Egypt," the Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday.

"The king stressed full confidence in Egyptian security, army and government," it said.

Following the downing of the plane, there have been multiple allegations of lax security at Sharm el-Sheikh airport.  

British tourists reported paying small bribes to skip bag checks, guards were pictured sleeping and playing candy crush and bomb-checking devices were found to be fake.  

The king's comments come as Sinai continues to experience clashes between militants and Egyptian military forces, whos' campaign has come under fire by human rights groups for mass displacement and extrajudicial executions in the North of the penninsula. 

On Wednesday, Sisi promised a transparent probe and cautioned against hasty conclusions over what brought down the Metrojet Airbus A321 over Egypt's Sinai peninsula on 31 October, killing all 224 people on board.

The Islamic State extremist group's Sinai branch claimed responsibility, but has not explained how it carried out the attack.

Britain suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh after saying it feared a bomb caused the disaster and voicing concerns over airport security at the Red Sea resort.

Russia also halted all fights to Egypt.

Egypt's tourism industry, vital to its economy, has already suffered from years of political instability and attacks claimed by extremists.

Saudi Arabia has offered billions of dollars in aid to Egypt since the 2013 military coup.

However, analysts have noted Egypt's closer relationship with the UAE, as they are both opposed to Islamist political groups, and broadly support the regime in Syria.

Saudi on the other hand, backs opposition groups in Syria's escalating civil war, and King Salman is said to be more sympathetic with the Muslim Brotherhood than his father. 

Sisi was in Riyadh this week for a summit of Arab and South American states.

During his visit, ministers from the two countries signed a document to create a council for implementing the so-called Cairo Declaration agreed to in late July.

The declaration aims to boost military and economic ties.