July 12 - Egypt's new president travels to Saudi Arabia to meet the King and visit Mecca on his first international trip since taking office. Travis Brecher reports.
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has chosen Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip since he was sworn in on June 30, signalling that he wants to maintain the long-standing regional alliance. Mursi met with King Abdullah on Wednesday, and was due to make a short visit to Mecca, Islam's holiest site. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT MOHAMED MURSI, SAYING: "This is, in truth, my first visit outside of Egypt and I was eager that it be here in Saudi Arabia, which unites our hearts. What has taken place between us in talks and dialogue is all in the interest of this region and it's stability, and in the interest of the Egyptian and Saudi people." Before becoming president, Mursi headed the Freedom and Justice Party of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. The president has also received an invitation from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attend a summit of the Non-aligned Movement in Tehran, but he has not yet accepted. Ties between Cairo and Tehran were severed in 1980 after Iran's Islamic Revolution and Egypt's recognition of Israel. Travis Brecher, Reuters