A senior Saudi official urged French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday to respect Saudi Arabia's conservative Islamic culture by visiting the country without his girlfriend, former supermodel Carla Bruni.

Sarkozy, who divorced his wife Cecilia in October, has flaunted his relationship with Bruni on recent holidays in Egypt and Jordan, drawing criticism that he is being too loose with the presidential image.

The Saudi diplomat said Sarkozy should leave Bruni behind for "religious reasons" when he visits the kingdom on Sunday.

Sarkozy's office said the composition of the delegation has not yet been finalized.