Saudi Arabia shuts down its embassy in Egypt

Credit: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Police detain a protester at the Saudi Embassy in Cairo during Saturday’s demonstration demanding the release of Egyptian human rights lawyer Ahmed el-Gezawi, who is being detained in Saudi Arabia on suspicion of drug possession. El-Gezawi’s attorney denied the charge.

By: Associated Press | Published: April 29, 2012    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia —

Saudi Arabia closed its Cairo embassy Saturday and recalled its ambassador following protests over a detained Egyptian human rights lawyer in a sharp escalation of tension between two regional powerhouses already on shaky terms due to uprisings in the Arab world.

The unexpected Saudi diplomatic break came following days of protests by hundreds of Egyptians outside the Saudi Embassy in Cairo and consulates in other cities to demand the release of Ahmed el-Gezawi. Relatives and human rights groups say he was detained for allegedly insulting the kingdom’s monarch.

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