Saudi Crown Prince Departs to Britain on Official Visit

Doctors treat a child injured by Saudi airstrikes on Yemen's province of Sa'ada

The crown prince spoke on the social changes now being felt in Saudi Arabia that have come against a backdrop of sweeping reforms, which include a re-energized crackdown on hate speech and religious police, greater freedoms for women, a bustling entertainment scene and a pledge to "destroy extremism and return to moderate Islam".

But as it emerged that the Crown Prince will be treated to what is effectively a state visit in all but name - with a trip to the PM's country home in Chequers as well as Buckingham Palace - critics were furious at the mixed messages.

A Saudi government source said the two countries had agreed to set up a joint $10 billion fund to develop areas of Egypt linked to the NEOM project.

He said the heir to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia also invited him and all Copts to visit his country.

The project, which is worth 500 billion US dollars, is adjacent to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba and near maritime trade routes that use the Suez Canal.

The renovation works included the modernization of the infrastructure of the mosque and its internal and external facades, including the furniture and drainage system, along with ventilation and sound systems similar to those used at the two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia.

"The Saudi crown prince is reaching out with an innovative, modern agenda, trying to convince partners around the world that Saudi is open for business".

Prince Mohammed is carrying out a series of foreign visits.

Theresa May has come under attack for "rolling out the red carpet" for Saudi Arabia after it emerged that its Crown Prince will be honoured with engagements with the Royal Family and ministers on his trip to the United Kingdom this week.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman is also expected to face questioning over the humanitarian situation in Yemen because of the Saudi military's leading role in the conflict. Egypt's state news agency MENA said it was the first visit of its kind, without elaborating. The deals have included fighter jets and munitions.

Cairo and Riyadh have strengthened ties in recent years and Egypt has received billions of dollars in aid from its rich Gulf Arab ally.

The regulations of the law aim at avoiding bureaucracy and shortening the time required to issue permits. He also visited the Al-Azhar mosque while in Cairo, a renowned center of Muslim scholarship seen as critical to promoting moderate Islam.

"The new Saudi-Egyptian agreement will certainly make an obvious economic leap in Egypt", he pointed out.

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