Since his appointment as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Egypt in 2011, he has been stressing that the Egyptian-Saudi relations are “in their best state.” Saudi Ambassador in Cairo Ahmed Abdul Aziz Kattan has been appointed as a State Minister for African Affairs in the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs on February 26.
Kattan has been serving as Saudi ambassador to Egypt since February, 2011. He is the first Saudi diplomat who holds two high-profile posts in a foreign country at the same time as he has been the Saudi Permanent Representative to the Arab League since February 28, 2005.
After seven years as an ambassador and 13 years as an Arab League’s envoy, Kattan leaves Egypt to start a new diplomatic mission inside the territory of the Saudi Arabia Kingdom as a state minister for the African Affairs.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman is expected to arrive in Cairo to meet with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and senior officials. The three-day visit of the Crown Prince may be Kattan’s last diplomatic mission as an ambassador to Egypt.
Life and Education
Kattan was born in Mecca in 1953, studied in Mecca until he moved to Cairo where he was graduated from the Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Cairo University, in 1978.
Then, he returned home to join the diplomatic corps at the Saudi Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1978, before being sent to the Saudi embassy in London where he served as a diplomat from 1982 to 1983.
His career’s successes have not prevented him from being close to his family as Kattan has kept his four children – Daliah, Haifa, Bandar and Faisal – away from media circles.
Kattan’s cleverness contributed to sending him to join the Saudi diplomatic mission in Washington where he held many diplomatic posts in the United States from 1984 to 2005. Later, he has come back to his second home, Egypt, where he stayed for nearly 13 years.
Kattan in Egypt
Succeeding Ambassador Hisham al-Nazir, Kattan was appointed as an ambassador to Egypt. He has succeeded to contain several diplomatic crises. Indeed, he succeeded to boost the mutual bonds between Cairo and Riyadh.
Kattan has used to organize a cultural saloon at his house in Zamalek neighborhood every month; inviting Egyptian and Arab intellectuals and public figures to cultural and civilized discussions.
In 2013, Kattan was chosen as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps for his diplomatic contributions and successes that he has accomplished at the diplomatic and cultural levels.
His Diplomatic Contributions
● He participated in all Arab League Summits since 2005 (Algiers 2005, Khartoum 2006, Riyadh 2007, Damascus 2008, Doha 2009, Sirte 2010, Baghdad 2012, Doha 2013, Kuwait 2014, Sharm El-Sheikh 2015, Mauritania 2016, Oman 2017)
● He participated in all Economic Summit Meetings (Kuwait 2009, Sharm El-Sheikh 2011, Riyadh 2013, the extraordinary summit, Sirte 2010)
● He participated in the two Arab-South American countries summits (Doha 2009, Riyadh 2015)
● He participated in the following Arab-African Summits (Sirte 2010, Kuwait 2013, Malabo 2016)
● Head of KSA delegation to Arab League Summit, held in Damascus in 2008, on behalf of late Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
● Head of KSA delegation to Arab League Summit, held in Baghdad in 2012, on behalf of late Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
● Head of KSA delegation to the 4th Arab-African Summit, held in Malabo in 2016, on behalf of Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
● He is the first Saudi Ambassador to head KSA delegations to two Arab League Summits (Damascus-Baghdad), on behalf of late Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, and the Arab-African Summit (Malabo, 2016), on behalf of Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
● Head of KSA delegation to the 5th meeting attended by senior officials from Arab states and South American states (Doha, 2009)
● Head of KSA delegation to the meeting of Arab and African foreign ministers (Malabo, 2016)
● Head of KSA delegation to the meeting of Arab and EU foreign ministers (Cairo, 2016)
● Deputy President of the Advisory Commission of UNRWA, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and the 60th anniversary of establishing UNRWA, (2009)