Egypt and Saudi Arabia to hold joint military drill this week

Saudi air forces will engage in joint military exercises with their Egyptian counterparts in Egypt later this week, Saudi state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday.

The military drill ‘Faysal 11’ aims to “bolster corporation and ties between the Saudi and Egyptian air forces,” as well as improve technical experience and martial skills of air crews, pilots and technicians, according to SPA.

This is the 11th in a series of joint military drills between the two Arab allies that began in 2000.

Saudi Arabia emerged as a key backer of Egypt after the the 2013 ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, pumping billions of dollars in aid and investment into Egypt to help prop up its ailing economy.

In July 2015, Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed a pact aimed at boosting military and economic ties between the two countries.

In early 2016, Cairo participated in a 20-nation military drill in the Arabian Gulf, which was organised by Saudi Arabia and billed as the biggest-ever in the region.

Egypt has also been taking part in a Saudi-led military coalition that has been battling Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015.

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