Saudi ambassador arrives in Cairo after short diplomatic feud

Arab World Materials 5 May 2012 21:10 (UTC +04:00)

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Egypt, Ahmed Kattan, returned to Cairo Saturday, a week after he was recalled following protests in front of the kingdom's embassy, airport officials said, dpa reported.

Kattan arrived with a delegation of officials to the Cairo embassy as well as the Saudi consulates in the cities of Alexandria and Suez, which will resume normal operations Sunday.

Saudi King Abdullah ordered Kattan's return after meeting an Egyptian delegation of more than 100 people led by the speaker of the parliament, Saad al-Katatni, in Riyadh on Friday.

Saudi Arabia last week recalled its ambassador and closed its embassy in Cairo and other consulates after angry Egyptians demonstrated outside, demanding the release of an Egyptian human rights lawyer who was arrested in the kingdom.

The monarch said that the protesters had "violated and threatened the safety of the Saudi missions."

Saudi authorities said the lawyer, Ahmed al-Gizawi, was detained on April 17 for allegedly carrying drugs.

Egyptian activists, however, said he was arrested on arrival in the kingdom for filing a lawsuit in Egypt against Abdullah over the alleged detention of hundreds of Egyptians living there.

In Egypt, the case has reignited anger against the oil-rich kingdom, which is home to Islam's holiest sites, for previous cases of alleged ill-treatment of Egyptians.