African Union on third visit to Cairo since Egypt's suspension

Ahram Online , Sunday 6 Apr 2014

Delegation set to hold talks with Egyptian government officials to assess the country's democratic transition

Mali's former president Alpha Omar Konare (Photo: Reuters)

An African Union (AU) delegation met on Sunday with Egypt's senior government officials, part of the bloc's third visit to Cairo since Egypt was suspended from the union last year.

The AU's High-Level Panel – headed by Mali's former president Alpha Omar Konare – was expected to meet with Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and other government officials to discuss Egypt's transitional road map and upcoming presidential elections, a major political milestone scheduled for next month.

The 54-nation bloc suspended Egypt from all its activities last July, days after the army's overthrow of elected president Mohamed Morsi, until Egypt could restore "constitutional order."

It is the AU's policy to suspend any member state if it undergoes an “unconstitutional” change of government.

Egypt has since mounted a diplomatic offensive against the decision of the bloc, which considers the Islamist leader's ouster a coup.

In January, Egypt was troubled by a decision by Washington, a long-time ally, to exclude it from a high-profile African summit convened by US President Barack Obama, citing the AU suspension.

AU officials in Cairo will hold talks on Monday with presidential hopefuls contending the forthcoming poll: resigned army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and leftist political figure Hamdeen Sabahi, an AU official told state news agency MENA.

The visit will also feature meetings with Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, rights campaigners and political leaders to assess the situation in the country, the source added. A conference by the visiting panel is due on Tuesday.

Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, was overthrown last July on the back of million-strong protests against his single year in power.


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