Last updated: 7 July, 2012

Egypt’s Morsi to Saudi Arabia on first trip as president

President Mohamed Morsi will head to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday on his first foreign visit as Egypt’s head of state, the official MENA news agency said on Saturday.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia “has invited President Morsi to visit Saudi Arabia to strengthen relations between both countries in all areas,” said Saudi ambassador Ahmed Qattan, quoted by MENA, adding that Morsi will fly to Riyadh on Wednesday.

It will be his first foreign trip since he was sworn in as president last week.

Morsi, a long-time member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is the country’s first elected civilian president.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia enjoyed close relations under Morsi’s predecessor Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted by a popular uprising last year.

But a diplomatic crisis between the two regional powers saw Riyadh recall its ambassador in Cairo and close its embassy for several days, after protests demanding the release of a lawyer and rights activist detained in the kingdom.