Saudi ambassador on way back to Egypt capital: Abul-Naga
Ahram Online , Sunday 29 Apr 2012
Minister announces imminent return of Saudi ambassador hours after latter's reported departure from Cairo on Sunday following 4 days of embassy protests


Egypt's International Cooperation Minister Fayza Abul-Naga on Sunday announced that Saudi Ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Abdel-Aziz Qattan was set to return to Cairo "in a matter of hours" following his reported departure earlier the same day.

The minister added that the ongoing diplomatic row between Riyadh and Cairo was "under control," stressing that Saudi's embassy and consulates in Egypt – which were recently closed – would reopen shortly.

Abul-Naga, who recently achieved notoriety for her role in Egypt's NGO crisis earlier this year, added that the current diplomatic flap with Saudi would not impact the flow of financial aid to Egypt from Arab Gulf states. She went on to say that the current political crisis and the issue of financial cooperation were two separate issues, stressing that Saudi investments in Egypt were unlikely to be affected.

The diplomatic row between the two countries was triggered by the 17 April arrest of Egyptian lawyer Ahmed El-Gizawi by Saudi authorities. Following his detention, dozens of Egyptian demonstrators staged a sit-in protest outside the Saudi embassy in Cairo.

El-Gizawi was detained for allegedly "defaming the king" after he filed a lawsuit in a South Cairo court against Saudi monarch King Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz Al-Saud. The lawyer filed the lawsuit on behalf of Egyptian citizens currently held without charge in Saudi prisons. Saudi authorities, however, maintain that El-Gizawi had been found in possession of large amounts of pharmaceutical drugs, sale of which is illegal in the oil-rich kingdom.

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