King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia sacked his ambassador to Egypt following a bitter attack by local newspapers over his rude remarks to a Saudi woman stranded in Cairo early this month.
The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said King Abdullah issued a decree replacing Hisham Nazer by Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Qattan as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Egypt.
The agency did not say whether Nazer has been given any new post but his removal followed sarcastic comments he made during a visit to Saudis stranded at Cairo airport during the public revolt that has toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
Reporting the royal decree on Tuesday, Saudi newspapers said his removal was a result of his behavior at Cairo airport and public demands for his trial.
During his visit to Cairo airport, Nazer was asked by a Saudi woman why he does not order more Saudi aircraft to transfer the remaining Saudis to their country, saying the kingdom has enough resources.
“Oh really… so you have come up with the solutions which I don’t know,” he snapped before he turned back and walked away.
Most Saudi papers had reported Nazer’s encounter with the woman in a critical manner, with one saying in its headline :”In an unjustified behavior, the kingdom’s ambassador to Egypt gives a sarcastic response to a stranded Saudi woman who just asked for help."
“We all know that King Abdullah has ordered the quick transfer of all Saudis in Egypt… but we are surprised to see that the ambassador sneers at a national woman who is worried about herself and the other Saudi nationals stranded in Egypt,” Masdar daily said.
“Instead of calming her fears, the ambassador sneers and snaps at the woman…he then turns his back to her without realizing that serving a Saudi national should be on top of his duties.”
Another paper ran a film showing Nazer, who was surrounded by his aides, snapping at the woman and quickly turning away.
“This film shows how the ambassador was sneering at the woman and ignoring her just because she said Saudi Arabia has sufficient resources to send more planes to lift the remaining stranded nationals,” Kabar Arabic language daily said.