Egyptian president stresses keenness to enhance ties with Saudi Arabia

Protest underway in Tunis over Saudi Crown prince's visit

Prince Mohammed was welcomed by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi on arrival at Tunis airport, the presidency said, and the two went into talks shortly afterwards at Carthage Palace.

In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya, Essebsi explained that the founding king advised the late Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba to adopt the politics of stages, which is the policy now pursued by Tunisia at present.

The Saudi crown prince is visiting Tunisia on Tuesday as part of a tour of several Arab countries on his first trip overseas since Khashoggi's murder, which has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with the West and battered his image overseas.

"The Tunisian people have a special place among the Saudi people and the two countries are always working to improve relations for the benefit of the two nations", Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Al Arabiya before departing Tunis on Tuesday.

Tunisian journalists on Monday put up a huge banner at their union showing the prince with a chainsaw, which Turkish sources have said was used to dismember Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Demonstrators also called for an end to the Saudi-led military campaign in neighbouring Yemen, which was launched by Prince Mohammed in his role as defence minister in 2015.

The Crown Prince arrived earlier tonight.

Saudi Arabia has said the crown prince had no prior knowledge of the killing.

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He stressed that the strategic partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Egypt aims to spread love and peace, with a unified vision that serves the interests of the two countries, both official and public.

Erdogan has said the killing was ordered by the highest level of Saudi leadership but ruled out that it had come from King Salman, putting the spotlight instead on the 33-year-old crown prince.

Political analyst Youssef Cherif said the protests against Prince Mohammed were a sign that post-revolution Tunisia "is one of the rare Arab countries where one can take such a stand".

Under the title "No to polluting revolutionary Tunisia", Tunisian journalists and 12 civil society organisations held a press conference on Monday at the headquarters of the syndicate, condemning their government for hosting bin Salman, who they held responsible for Khashoggi's death. However, the Trump administration has been reluctant to further punish the Saudi government, citing alliance significance and Saudi Arabia's purchase of USA military equipment.

Another irritant is that moderate Islamists have been sharing power with secularists in Tunisia since 2011. The four accused Doha of supporting terrorism and Iran - charges Doha denies.

Mohammed's visit is part of a tour of several Arab countries, his first trip overseas since Khashoggi - a sharp critic of Mohammed - was killed inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2, triggering global condemnations.

Travelling overseas for the first time since the killing, the crown prince is visiting Arab allies before heading to a Group of 20 summit in Argentina this week, where he may face questions about the gruesome slaying.

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