Mahlab: Egypt depends on Equatorial Guinea’s support on frozen AU membership
egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim (L) Equatorial Guinea prime minister Vicente Ehate Tomi (R) - YOUM7/Suliman Eletifi

CAIRO: Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said Friday Egypt depends on Equatorial Guinea’s support to reinstate its suspended membership in the African Union, Youm7 reported.

The comments came after Mahlab and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy arrived in Equatorial Guinea on Thursday, leading a delegation of Egyptian ministers to meet with Equatorial Guinean officials to discuss mutual relations. The Equatorial Guinean capital of Malabo will host an A.U. summit from June 26-27.

The Egyptian delegation toured Equatorial Guinea’s Petroleum and Industrial Zone and the new Egyptian embassy in the small Sub-Saharan African nation.

Mahlab also thanked Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo for his welcome and hailed the role of Egyptian companies working in African nations, as he said they are “boosting ties between Egypt and these countries.” He also praised the African projects set up by the Arab Contractors Company and achievements made by President Obiang in developing Equatorial Guinea’s industrial sector.

Mahlab delivered a message from President Adly Mansour to Obiang, which discussed ways of strengthening bilateral relations, explained developments in Egypt and reviewed the progress made in the implementation of Egypt’s road map. Officials hope the implementation of the roadmap will pave the way for restoring Egypt’s membership in the African Union.

Obiang awarded Mahlab with Equatorial Guinea’s First Class Independence Medal in recognition of bilateral cooperative relations between the two countries and Mahlab’s efforts to further them.

A.U. Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said Egypt could return to the A.U. after the transitional roadmap was implemented, MENA reported April 10. She said Egypt’s important role in the region made its reinstatement “crucial.”

Fahmy met with A.U. Peace and Security Commissioner Ismail Sharqy May 5 to discuss Egypt’s suspended membership and its reinstatement should the roadmap be implemented and democratic progress achieved, the State Information Service website stated. Former A.U. Secretary General Ahmed Haggag said on ONTV Thursday morning that Equatorial Guinea will likely favor Egypt’s return to the A.U.

The A.U. has officially declared its plan to send a mission to observe the upcoming presidential elections in Egypt. According to Youm7 Wednesday, the High Presidential Elections Commission invited the A.U. Tuesday to monitor the elections in an attempt to solve the crisis of Egypt’s suspended membership and Renaissance Dam conflict with Ethiopia.

“HPEC invited the A.U. to watch the situation closely and ensure the transparency of the electoral process and provide their own judgment. It has been agreed that 50 observers will take on the mission,” HPEC Secretary-General Abdel Aziz Salman told Youm7.

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