Egypt’s Brotherhood attempts to calm S. Arabia spat
Lawmakers from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood traveled to Saudi Arabia on Thursday in a bid to lower the flames of a simmering dispute that is the biggest rift in decades between the two most powerful Arab states.
The speakers of Egypt’s upper and lower houses of parliament, both senior members of the Brotherhood, joined a delegation meeting Saudi King Abdullah over the crisis triggered by Riyadh’s arrest of an Egyptian lawyer and a wave of protests that it generated. This weekend the Saudis withdrew their ambassador from Egypt, citing security concerns following the demonstrations over Ahmed el-Gizawi’s detention on April 17.
The Saudi government has been the focus of public anger triggered by the arrest, with Egyptians pouring criticism on what they say is the poor treatment their compatriots often receive in the kingdom. Egyptian activists said Gizawi had been detained for speaking out against such ill-treatment.