News / Middle East

Egypt's Morsi to Make Saudi Arabia His First Foreign Visit

In this photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Kattan meets with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo, July 7, 2012.
In this photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Kattan meets with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo, July 7, 2012.
Margaret Besheer
CAIRO - Egypt's new president Mohamed Morsi will make his first overseas trip to Saudi Arabia.  Analysts say his choice of a strong Sunni Muslim country with deep pockets is significant.

President Morsi will visit the conservative Islamic kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday where he is expected to meet with King Abdullah as well as visit the holy city of Mecca where he will perform Umrah - a form of Muslim pilgrimage that can be performed any time during the year.

Under Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, Egypt had close relations with Saudi Arabia, and political analyst Hisham Kassem says that is likely to continue.

"They [the Saudis] will be very interested in maintaining good relations with Egypt as they did with Mubarak. It is in everyone's interest," said Kassem.

Unemployment is high in Egypt and chairman of the Jeddah-based Gulf Research Center Abdulaziz Sager says encouraging Saudi Arabia's private sector to invest in Egypt is likely to top Morsi's agenda.

"I am sure he wants to attract them again to continue their investments in Egypt and to assure them of the stability and the political stability in Egypt," said Sager. "At [the] same time, also if he can increase the sort of export of manpower from Egypt to Saudi Arabia that will help, because the remittances from Egyptian laborers to Egypt in Saudi is quite significant also."

Sager says Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to show serious economic support for Egypt, committing more than $4.5 billion to the country. Saudi Arabia is also a major shareholder in the Islamic Development Bank, which signed a $1 billion cooperation agreement last week with Egypt to support its food and energy sectors.

Hisham Kassem says Morsi, who was a long-time member of the Muslim Brotherhood, may also see in Saudi Arabia a potential lender with similar Islamic values.

"Given Morsi's political persuasion and aversion to international monetary institutions, I think he will try and get basically Islamic-backed economic backing, as opposed to other monetary institutions, that they might consider dealings with them to be anti-islamic or usury," said Kassem.

From Saudi Arabia's perspective, analysts say the Saudis see their investments as contributing to political stability in Egypt as well as potentially off-setting Shi'ite Iran's creeping influence in the Middle East.

President Morsi also plans to travel to the African Union's headquarters in Addis Ababa next Sunday.

Abdulaziz Sager says Egypt used to have strong relations with Africa and President Morsi is looking to reinforce those ties. Egypt, which shares the Nile River with eight other countries, also needs good relations so it can negotiate important water issues with its African neighbors.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 09, 2012 5:35 AM
This visit to Saudi Arabia is just not to betray his hunger for Iranian-type revolution, otherwise his first trip would have been Iran to team up with Ahmadinejad against their common enemies. Maybe he will still make other trips elsewhere to mask his desire for this, but somehow we learned of his immediate reach out to the people of Iran first thing after his election victory. Action really speaks louder than voice: nothing born of a snake will ever grow vertical! All the noise about hajj is diversionary.

In Response

by: Iran is a Farce from: Iran
July 09, 2012 8:22 AM
Godwin, its not the PEOPLE of iran he is looking to align Egypt with... but its the barbaric Iranian Islamic regime that oppress, rape, mutilates us every day. and I agree with Robert (UK), its very hard to trust anyone now days in Iran... you simply don't know who is informant of the Islamic regime and the punishment is very harsh... believe me.


by: Persian
July 08, 2012 6:08 PM
It is funny that an Iranian news Agency, Farsnews, close to the Revolutionary Corps, claimed that they have interviewed Morsi and he insisted that he will travel to Iran first and not to Saudi Arabia! They insisted the interview was genuin despite the fact that Egypt denied the interview!!!

In Response

by: Robert Morgan from: UK
July 09, 2012 7:02 AM
why are you surprised...??? lying is a genetic affliction of Iranians... they lie not to gain and look foolish later, but because its in their genes... the really ugly secret is that Iranians do not trust themselves about anything...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid