MIDDLE EAST

Jordanian king arrives in Cairo

Jordan’s King is the first head of state to visit Egypt since the ouster of Mursi on July 3. (File photo: Reuters)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II visited Cairo briefly on Saturday in the first visit by a head of state to Egypt since its July 3 coup, state media reported.

The monarch had been among the first leaders to congratulate Egyptians after the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Mursi following mass protests calling for him to resign.

Abdullah, who faces challenges at home from Islamists, was met at the airport by military-backed interim prime minister Hazem al-Beblawi, the official MENA news agency reported.

He left several hours later, an airport official said.

Both Jordan and Egypt have been key mediators between Israel and the Palestinians, whom the United States says have agreed to lay the groundwork to resume peace negotiations.

Abdullah was likely to have discussed the renewed Middle East peace talks process with Egypt.

But his visit may also have been aimed at conferring legitimacy on the new military-installed administration, which is fighting a public relations war abroad to burnish its credentials as a legitimate government.

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Last Update: Saturday, 20 July 2013 KSA 18:58 - GMT 15:58
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