Most editors-in-chief and senior writers focused on their meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman who was on a three-day visit to Egypt.
“The prince who impressed us” was the headline of Al-Ahram newspaper’s columnist Salah Montasser, who praised bin Salman’s “youth enthusiasm, eloquent speech and futurist vision.” Montasser said he was one of the journalists who sat with the crown prince to discuss regional and economic affairs to which bin Salman fully responded, “swearing that he is not concerned with the Qatari crisis,” and asserting economic development prospects.
“The crown prince does not discuss any matter without providing full information and facts that support his argument,” said Al-Ahram’s senior writer and Head of the Supreme Media Council Makram Mohamed Ahmed. He wrote that the Saudi kingdom is in majority supporting Salman’s vision for Saudi Arabia and the Arab region, which includes cooperating with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to ensure solidarity among Arab countries in facing crises.
In his full-page opinion piece, Yasser Rizk, chairperson of state-owned newspaper Al-Akhbar disclosed the details of the prince’s meeting with journalists and intellectuals which took place at the Saudi ambassador’s house, but said they were asked to abstain from publishing everything. Rizk argued that many journalists first believed Salman’s reform decisions were too hasty and more than he could bear, but they changed their mind after sitting with him. He reviewed what the prince said on Qatar, the Palestinian issue and how he was not afraid to hold Saudi princes accountable over corruption allegations.
Likewise, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Khaled Miry wrote a full page on the visit, focusing on the same meeting. He reported the prince saying that Egypt must be consolidated in facing Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood, as Saudi Arabia must be backed in facing Iran, and that Egypt and Saudi Arabia have a much stronger coalition in the region than Turkey and Iran.
On Salman’s “inspiring” personality, Karam Gabr said the crown prince gave non-traditional answers to questions which reflect “a contemporary vision and careful calculations.” Gabr quoted Salman saying that 80% of Arab countries were on the right track and insisting that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a Palestinian state and that the war in Yemen should soon be over.
According to Emad El-Din Hussein, editor-in-chief of the private Al-Shorouk newspaper, the crown prince discussed the deal of the century, “giving important information, but off record.” Hussein reflected in his column the “honesty and openness” of Salman’s speech, giving an example where he said that following the Iranian revolution of 1979, Saudi Arabia thought that using the Muslim Brotherhood would contribute to easing tensions, but “it turned out to be a wrong bet.”
The meeting was further the subject of commentary in Al-Masry Al-Youm where Abbas Al-Tarabily talked about the crown prince’s optimism and how Cairo “embraced him” which is a reminder of the historical friendly relations between the two countries.
For his part, Al-Masry Al-Youm’s Seliman Gouda focused on the NEOM project and the bridge that will connect Egypt to the megacity, writing that there is no better way to market this “land of hope” than through a Red Sea bridge that would take people from Africa directly into Asia.
In Al-Watan, journalist Emad Adeeb highlighted the mutual interests bringing Salman and Al-Sisi, together with the UAE, on top of which comes terrorism challenges, their keenness on diversifying the sources of weapons, and having strong a strong military force “because only strong states earn respect.”