Saudi King Salman orders investments in Egypt exceed $8 billion

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz attends the Summit of South American-Arab Countries, in Riyadh November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

CAIRO (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday ordered the kingdom to help meet Egypt’s petroleum needs for the next five years, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

He also ordered that Saudi investments in Egypt be more than 30 billion Saudi riyals ($8 billion), SPA said.

The announcement followed a meeting between Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king’s son. A follow-up meeting between Saudi and Egyptian officials will take place on Jan. 5, SPA reported

Egypt received pledges of $12 billion from Gulf Arab allies at an investment conference in March where President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged foreign investors to help Egypt recover from the turmoil since the 2011 uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak.

About $6 billion has been deposited in Egypt’s central bank to help replenish its dwindling foreign currency reserves. The rest was to come as investments. Much of it is still being negotiated.

Reporting by Ali Abdelaty and Sami Aboudi; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Hugh Lawson