JEDDAH -- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who was in the Kingdom to attend the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Riyadh, called on his countrymen to continue their remittances and renew their investments in Egypt.
Morsi was addressing a gathering of 350 Egyptians from various parts of the Kingdom at the Egyptian ambassador's residence in Riyadh.
Morsi contended that Egypt's economy is stable, but there is a need for an increased role of expatriates in helping the nation's economy grow.
"Your support is crucial to the growth of the Egyptian economy," he said, while thanking them for their role in the country's development through their remittances and investments.
Egyptians who had gathered in Riyadh described the meeting as historical. Their enthusiastic applause on his arrival at the venue is a reflection of the support Morsi enjoyed among the Kingdom's expatriate community.
Morsi thanked the participants for their time and congratulated all Egyptians on January 25 Revolution anniversary, which is just three days away.
He also thanked the Kingdom and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for his concerns and support for Egypt.
During the meeting, the Egyptian expatriates spoke to Morsi on various issues, especially on education where they requested the cancelation of achievement test. They said children of Egyptians abroad should receive the same treatment as their peers back home in university fees and admissions.
The minister of education reacted positively to the call and sent a message that he will visit Saudi Arabia next week to discuss education-related issues with the Egyptian community.
The attendees also called for representation of Egyptian expatriates in the Shoura Council, and Morsi promised to look into that request when the next Shoura is constituted.
Morsi also promised the community, which had complained about poor treatment of Egyptians on arrival at sea ports, that they would "soon see a sea change in attitudes."
The president called on Egyptian expatriates to nominate representatives who could come to Egypt and discuss their issues with concerned officials.
The participants also renewed their request of opening Egyptian banks' branches in Saudi Arabia.
Morsi, while slamming some media outlets for exaggerating, said all rights of women are reserved.
On Egyptians in Riyadh prisons, Morsi revealed that out of 167 detainees, only 24 are left. He, however, said those convicted of major crimes are not included in the count.
© The Saudi Gazette 2013
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