Egypt’s government announced a decision to “delay” the celebrations of the 25 January Revolution’s fourth anniversary to mourn the death of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz.
In the wake of the Saudi monarch’s death, the government said the nation would hold a seven-day state of mourning to mark the state’s sympathy with the neighbouring nation’s loss.
Saudi Arabia has offered Egypt billions of dollars in aid in recent years, particularly after the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
King Abdullah himself was firmly opposed to the protests that erupted early in 2011 against Egypt’s former autocrat Hosni Mubarak, his “ally and friend” as he once called him. He also expressed his support for Mubarak’s regime, saying: “An Arab and Muslim human cannot allow some infiltrators among the Egyptian people to disrupt Egypt’s security and stability, in the name of freedom of expression.”
Also, the Saudi government urged the US administration to stop pressing Mubarak to submit to popular demand to step down.
Despite the fact that the first freely elected president of Egypt Mohamed Morsi paid his first foreign visit to Saudi Arabia, Abdullah’s government was a strong supporter of the army’s move to take power following the popular uprising against the Muslim Brotherhood government.
Immediately after Morsi’s ouster on 3 July, 2013, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait collaborated to provide a financial aid package of $12bn to the new military-backed government in Egypt.
Following President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi winning in the elections held in May, Abdullah called for a donor conference to help Egypt “overcome its economic difficulties”.
Abdullah was also the first foreign leader to visit Al-Sisi after he took office, when he arrived to Cairo in June 2014. Al-Sisi paid a visit back to Saudi Arabia in the following August, where the former Saudi king presented Al-Sisi with the King Abdulaziz Medal, the highest and most prestigious medal in Saudi Arabia.
Political parties from different camps in Egypt expressed their condolences for Abdullah’s death, and the Muslim Brotherhood tweeted on its official English language Twitter account: “Our sincere condolences to the ruling royal family & the ppl of Saudi Arabia on the death of King Abdullah, may Allah have mercy on his soul.” (sic)