Saudi Arabia has refused to accept a new envoy appointed by President Yoweri Museveni to head Uganda’s mission in Riyadh.
Dr Ahmed Kisuule, the new ambassador is a Saudi-trained Muslim cleric and served as ambassador to Iran for 12 years.
In January, President Museveni transferred him to Saudi Arabia to replace Dr Yahya Rashid Ssemuddu, who was moved to Tehran.
According to The Observer, Ssemuddu who is closer to the Saudi Arabian royal family consulted some of his friends, who advised him not to accept the transfer because a posting to Iran could affect his future prospects in Saudi Arabia.
He reportedly used Museveni’s visit to Qatar in April to lobby him to cancel the transfer to Iran.
He is currently in Saudi Arabia attending to Ugandan pilgrims to this year’s Hajj (annual Islamic pilgrimage).
When Kisuule in July flew to Riyadh, he turned away by the Saudis after which the Saudi Arabian government communicated to Uganda’s ministry of Foreign Affairs their rejection of the new envoy.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have a long history of poor diplomatic relations, which has torn countries in the Middle East to either side of the two competitors for supremacy in the Arabian Peninsula.