Middle East

After Saudi row, Egypt reasserts commitment to Gulf allies

FILE - In this file photo provided by the Saudi Press Agency on March 1, 2015, Saudi King Salman, right, meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi upon his arrival to Riyadh Airbase, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Egypt's president says his country remains committed to close relations with its Gulf Arab allies, but will continue to independently pursue its own policies to safeguard Arab security. El-Sissi's comments on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 were his first after a diplomatic row erupted this week between Egypt and close ally Saudi Arabia over Syria.(SPA via AP, File)

FILE - In this file photo provided by the Saudi Press Agency on March 1, 2015, Saudi King Salman, right, meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi upon his arrival to Riyadh Airbase, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Egypt's president says his country remains committed to close relations with its Gulf Arab allies, but will continue to independently pursue its own policies to safeguard Arab security. El-Sissi's comments on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 were his first after a diplomatic row erupted this week between Egypt and close ally Saudi Arabia over Syria.(SPA via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

Egypt's president says his country remains committed to close relations with its Gulf Arab allies, but will continue to independently pursue its own policies to safeguard Arab security.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's comments on Thursday were his first after a diplomatic row erupted this week between Egypt and close ally Saudi Arabia over Syria.

El-Sissi didn't mention the kingdom by name, but clearly spoke in reaction to Egypt's first public spat with the Saudis since taking office in 2014. He also confirmed that Riyadh has halted previously agreed fuel shipments to Egypt.

El-Sissi also defended Egypt's vote in favor of rival French and Russian draft resolutions on Syria at the U.N. Security Council, a move that has angered Riyadh, with Saudi Arabia's U.N. envoy publicly berating Egypt over the vote.