Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, and a number of other Arab leaders and senior officials from 25 countries, witnessed on Monday the closing ceremony parade of the “Gulf Shield 1” military drills, according to the Egyptian presidency, Daily News Egypt reported.
The parade is the largest of its kind in the region in terms of the number of troops and participating countries, as well as the diversity of expertise and the quality of weapons used.
The final phase of the drills included launching air exercises to fight enemies over an island by using a range of military equipment, including Egyptian F-16 fighter jets. The exercises included conventional military operations by coastal defense forces, as well as irregular war operations carried out by besieging and penetrating villages and industrial installations to train to fight enemies. The countries’ air forces also presented an air show at the ceremony.
Egypt’s air force conducted several activities during the drills including preparing and planning for conducting joint air operations to defend vital sites, as well as practicing attacking enemies.
On Sunday, on the sidelines of the 29th Ordinary Summit of the Arab League Council in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Al-Sisi met with a number of Arab leaders to discuss bilateral relations.
Al-Sisi discussed updates of the situation in Yemen with his Yemeni counterpart, President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, according to a statement from presidency spokesperson Bassam Rady.
During their meeting, Al-Sisi stressed Egypt’s constant stance in support of legitimacy in Yemen and the unity and integrity of the country, as well as maintaining the Egyptian efforts to relieve the humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people.
For his part, Hadi expressed gratitude for Egypt’s stances in support of his country.
President Al-Sisi also discussed with his Lebanese counterpart, Michel Aoun, the bilateral relations between the two countries and coordinating their positions regarding the current crises in the region.
Aoun praised Egypt’s pivotal role in boosting mutual Arab efforts and maintaining the cohesion of the Arab region. The two leaders also discussed the situation in Syria.
Moreover, Al-Sisi met with his Tunisian counterpart, Beji Caid Essebsi, who congratulated him for being re-elected. Essebsi praised Egypt’s return to its leading role in the region. He expressed hope for maintaining consultation and coordination between the two countries regarding the crises in the region.