Saudi King to Meet Egyptian Delegation Amid Row
An Egyptian delegation led by the heads of Cairo's two houses of parliament will meet with Saudi King Abdullah on Friday in hopes of easing tensions between the two countries.
According to Egypt's semi-official al-Ahram the delegation will be comprised of 150 lawmakers and prominent writers making a bid to thaw Egyptian-Saudi ties, added the paper.
Saad Al Katatni, the speaker of the Egyptian legislature, and Ahmad Fahmi, the chief of the consultative Shura Council, will lead the delegation.
Saudi Arabia last week recalled its ambassador to Egypt, and closed its embassy and consulates in the country following protests, which the oil-rich kingdom called "hostile and unjustified".
The protests were held after an Egyptian rights lawyer was arrested in Saudi Arabia for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into the country.
Egyptian protesters charge the lawyer was arrested for filing a lawsuit over the detention of Egyptians in Saudi Arabia.
The delegation is due to arrive Thursday evening in the Saudi capital of Riyahd, where they will be welcomed by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal.
A spokesman for the group told al-Ahram there were "almost positive indications of successful efforts" that the Saudi envoy will return to Cairo.
The crisis is said to be the worst between the two countries since the late 1970s when most Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, suspended their ties with Egypt over its peace treaty with Israel.
Relations were re-established in the 1980s after the now-toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak took over.
However, in recent months, members of the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council have charged the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups have been trying to destabilize their monarchies.
The Brotherhood, which has come to power as the largest parliamentary faction in Cairo and leads an Islamist coalition, has chapters in numerous Arab countries.
They have been accused of stirring up unrest in both Jordan and Syria, as well as the Gulf region.