Sinai coast
Sinai coast Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

The Arab world has long sought to link North Africa with the Middle East, bypassing Israel. Now it appears that Saudi Arabia is intent on turning that dream into a reality.

Following a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel al-Sisi, Saudi Arabia’s new king, Salman al-Saud, announced a series of measures intended to aid Egypt’s sagging economy and bring the two allies closer together than ever before.

King Salman discussed $20 billion in loans to help boost Egypt economically, along with a comprehensive plan to develop the Sinai region priced at $1.5 billion.

The Saudi monarch also touched upon the long-discussed idea of physically linking the two countries, bridging the Red Sea and creating a contiguous link between the eastern and western halves of the Arab world.

The plan calls for a massive 30 mile bridge linking Ras Nasrani near Sharm el-Sheikh to Ras Hamid in northern Saudi Arabia.

If completed the bridge would be one of the longest in the world.