Head of the African Union Alpha Oumar Konare (photo: Reuters)
Head of the African Union (AU) delegation visiting Egypt on Tuesday, Alpha Oumar Konare, said the AU's decision to suspend Egypt's membership following the popularly-backed military overthrow of president Morsi was "not a conspiracy against Egypt's leadership."
Konare expressed to Egypt's Minister for Transitional Justice Amin El-Mahdi in a meeting Tuesday that the decision to suspend Egypt's membership from the African Union following Morsi's overthrow was part of the union's efforts to stop military coups in African nations.
Konare maintained that the delegation's visit aims at meeting different political figures in order to submit a report to the AU so that it can review its decision.
The African Union suspended Egypt on 5 July after the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, in line with its strict rules against unconstitutional changes of government.
Egypt's foreign minister, in response, sent a strong-worded letter to the AU rejecting the decision "in form and substance."
The delegation has met with military-installed interim President Adly Mansour, as well as Egypt's army chief and Defence Minister Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.
The delegation also held talks with the anti-Morsi Rebel Campaign, which organised the protests that led to Morsi's ouster, as well as representatives from prominent protest group the April 6 Youth Movement.
Konare expressed that he would like to visit the deposed president, currently held incommunicado by the military, and other Islamist groups, along with representatives from Al-Azhar, the Coptic Orthodox Church, and civil society.
"The delegation's visit does not aim at condemning the popular movement or the authorities," Konare assured El-Mahdi, according to state news agency MENA.
He added that the delegation requests help from authorities in understanding and adapting to popular movements in Egypt.
Egypt's relations with some African countries have seen tensions over the past years, especially with Nile Basin countries, over disagreements in redistributing the Nile water.
Representatives of Egypt’s new government, including the foreign minister, have repeatedly insisted that it is inaccurate and misleading to describe the recent ouster of Morsi as a coup.