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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid