BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Egypt will become the first Arab nation to send an ambassador to post-Saddam Iraq, the Iraqi foreign minister was to announce Wednesday at an international conference on Iraq, according to a copy of his speech obtained by The Associated Press.

In his address, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari praises Egypt for ``showing regional leadership by taking the decision to appoint the first Arab ambassador we hope to soon welcome in the new Iraq.'' Arab nations withdrew their ambassadors from Baghdad under Saddam Hussein.