El-Sisi meets with African heads of state prior to AU Summit

Ahram Online, Thursday 26 Jun 2014

Egypt's attendance at the 23rd Ordinary African Union Summit is its first after the regional body's Peace and Security Council unfroze Egypt's membership last month

Egypt president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: AP)

Egypt's new president, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, met with the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, late Wednesday on arrival to Equatorial Guinea's capital Malabo, state-owned news agency MENA reported.

El-Sisi is also to meet other head of states participating in the African Union (AU) 23rd Ordinary Summit that is due to start Thursday, MENA added.

In his second visit outside Egypt, El-Sisi arrived to Malabo to participate in the AU Summit titled "Agriculture and Security in the African Continent" that is scheduled to last for two days.

El-Sisi is due to give a speech Thursday at the opening of the summit.

Meanwhile, it is the first time for newly appointed Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to represent Egypt in an African Summit.

The summit is Egypt's first after the African Union's Peace and Security Council decided to unfreeze Egypt's AU membership last month.

The decision came almost a year after Egypt was suspended from the 54-nation bloc in the wake of the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, with the Peace and Security Council citing the need to restore "constitutional order".

It is the AU's policy to suspend any member state that undergoes an "unconstitutional" change of government.

In April — a few weeks before the presidential election that brought El-Sisi to power — AU head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that Egypt would return to the union after the implementation of its transitional roadmap.

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