Egypt's Mursi visits Saudi Arabia to mend ties

July 12, 2012 16:50


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JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia gave a lavish reception to Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi on Thursday, a gesture analysts said indicated the Arab world's wealthiest country was ready to put old tensions behind it to do business with the new Islamist president.

In his first official foreign visit since his election in June, Mursi, who belonged to Egypt's influential Muslim Brotherhood movement which had long had strained ties with Saudi Arabia, arrived in Jeddah late on Wednesday.

Saudi media said on Thursday that Crown Prince Salman and a host of other royal family members were at the airport to greet Mursi upon his arrival in Jeddah, the summer seat of the Saudi government, before he was driven to a meeting and dinner with King Abdullah late on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia enjoyed strong ties with former president Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled last year by a popular uprising that propelled Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood to the top political spot in the Arab world's most populous country.

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