Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Egypt Reiterates Rejection of African Union Suspension

Egypt reiterates rejection to AU suspension

31 July 2013 04:12

Egyptian officials reiterated Tuesday their rejection to the decision to suspend Egypt's participation in the African Union (AU)'s activities, APA reports quoting AP.

The remarks came at a time when Alpha Oumar Konare, head of a nine-member African delegation currently visiting the country, stressed the decision was not part of a conspiracy against Egypt's pioneering role in Africa.

Two days after the ouster of Egypt's Islamist-oriented President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, the AU's Peace and Security Council suspended the country's membership, describing the overthrow of Morsi as "unconstitutional."

In response, Egypt sent high-level envoys to African countries to explain the Egyptian point of view, asking them to revoke the pan-Africa organization's decision.

The AU high-level panel for Egypt is visiting Egypt from July 27 to August 5 to collect information and consult with the Egyptian authorities as well as other stakeholders the situation here.

Since its arrival on Sunday, the African group has met with interim President Adli Mansour, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi, and representatives from the Tamarud, a campaign launched earlier this year to demand Morsi's stepping down, and the 6 April youth movement.

During his meeting with the AU panel Tuesday, Minister of Transitional Justice Amin el-Mahdi reiterated Egypt's rejection to the African decision, stressing that the terms of membership suspension are not applicable in the case of Egypt.

"The AU Peace and Security Council has failed to see the popular revolution on June 30. The military stance was in line with the people's demands to have an interim civilian president and to amend the constitution."

"The Armed Forces intervened to protect millions of peaceful citizens and prevent clashes after a political solution could not be reached," el-Mahdi said, underlining that what happened in Egypt cannot be considered as "unconstitutional change" of governments.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Foreign Minister Fahmi said the "rushed" African Peace and Security Council decision was based on " completely false" information.

For his part, Konare refused to answer a question whether he describes what happened in Egypt as a military coup or popular revolution. While his delegation also wants to meet with Morsi, reportedly held incommunicado since his overthrow, and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, the Salafist party, and the country's religious leaders.

Egypt FM calls South Africa coup statement 'an insult'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Jul 2013

In response to official statement regarding 3 July 'coup', Egypt FM calls on South Africa to address its own protesters before 'interfering' in Egyptian internal affairs

Egypt's interim foreign minister issued a statement on Tuesday expressing discontent with South Africa's "inaccurate" reading of the current situation in Egypt following the popularly-backed army removal of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.

"The insistence on describing Egypt's popular revolution as an unconstitutional change of government, and the continued acknowledgment of the former president's an insult to the will of millions of Egyptians," read the statement.

The ministry's comments come in response to a statement issued by South Africa on Tuesday in which the country reiterated its disapproval of the "unconstitutional removal of the democratically elected president and the suspension of Egypt's constitution," describing it as a breach of the norms and standards adopted by the African Union (AU).

The South Africa statement also expressed concern regarding the excessive violence used against supporters of the deposed president, a reference to the killing of at least 80 protesters in clashes between pro-Morsi demonstrators and the police on Saturday.

The Egyptian foreign ministry responded by accusing the South Africa government of disregarding the alleged use of weapons against security forces in Saturday's clashes.

The Egyptian statement went on to urge South Africa to focus on the rights of protesting mine workers in their country "instead of interfering in internal matters of an African country the size and greatness of Egypt."

Egypt has maintained tense relations in recent years with fellow African countries, especially those Nile Basin countries with which it is in dispute regarding water distribution.

Egypt's interim foreign ministry has repeatedly criticised countries that call Morsi's overthrow a military 'coup,' on the grounds that these countries do not have a clear understanding of Egypt's political situation.

The AU suspended Egypt's membership on 5 July, two days after Morsi's removal,in accordance with its strict rules against unconstitutional changes of government.

On Tuesday, AU head Alpha Oumar Konare met with Egypt's transitional justice minister Amin El-Mahdi in Cairo, where he emphasised that the AU's decision was "not a conspiracy against Egypt's leadership" but rather part of the union's efforts to stop military coups in African nations.

Egypt's Morsi meets AU delegation, saying he feels " unfairness"
2013-07-31 20:34:43

CAIRO, July 31 (Xinhua) -- A visiting African Union (AU) delegation has met with Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi, during which the latter said he "feels unfairness," Egyptian official MENA news agency reported Wednesday.

The nine-member African delegation, dubbed African Wise Panel, is headed by former president of Mali, Alpha Oumar Konare.

"We met the deposed president Tuesday night and he told us that he was ousted from power and that he feels unfairness," former president of Botswana, Fetus Mogae, was quoted by MENA as saying.

"We told Morsi that he should take part in achieving peace and preventing violence and that we support opening dialogue with all sides to reach a peaceful solution for the current situation," he added.

Meanwhile, Konare, head of the delegation, said that his mission was briefed on details clarifying the June 30 event as " uprising, not a military coup."

He also noted that the decision of suspending Egypt's activities in the AU wasn't a "punitive" measure, but a measure to helping the AU's legation acquire information and open dialogue.

Konare also emphasized that the delegation's visit to Egypt comes within the "friendship" and "brotherhood," expressing its support for Egypt's comprehensive reconciliation.

The AU high-level panel visits Egypt from July 27 to Aug. 5 to collect information as well as consult with the Egyptian authorities and different parties the situation here.

Since its arrival on Sunday, the African group has met with Egypt's interim President Adli Mansour, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi, and representatives of the Tamarud (Rebel) campaign, an opposition group demanding Morsi's stepping down, and the April 6 youth movement.

It will meet with other political forces' representatives, including the Muslim Brotherhood, in the following days.

African Union delegation meetings continue

Rana Muhammad Taha
Daily News Egypt
July 31, 2013

A fact-finding delegation from the African Union (AU) met on Tuesday with Minister of Defence Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi.

The delegation arrived in Cairo on Sunday to meet with the leadership following the country’s suspension from all union activities.

The delegation was scheduled to meet with representatives from the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy (NCSL) on Tuesday. Mohamed Soudan, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) spokesman in Alexandria, said the delegation was visiting to further investigate the “massacres” taking place in the country.

At least 53 civilians were killed in clashes which occurred between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and security forces outside the Republican Guards headquarters on 8 July. On Saturday, violence broke out near the pro-Morsi Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in leaving at least 80 protesters dead.

“The delegation is here to know more about the massacres, meet with the victims, see the protesters who have been sitting-in at Rabaa for 31 days,” Soudan said. The delegation is expected to meet coalition members at the Rabaa sit-in.

Soudan said the NCSL supports the AU’s decision to suspend Egypt’s membership from all union activities.

The delegation also met with representatives from the Tamarod rebel movement and 6 April youth movement founder Ahmed Maher on Monday.

In a statement released on Monday, 6 April said Maher explained to the delegation members that what happened starting from 30 June was “the third wave of the January 25th revolution.”

Mai Wahba, Tamarod media coordinator, said she believed relations with the AU would take a positive turn after the delegation’s visit. Wahba was one of the Tamarod representatives who met with the delegation.

“The delegation members explained that suspending Egypt’s activities was only a precautionary measure taken due to the frequency of coups which took place in Africa,” Wahba said.

The delegation is chaired by Alpha Omar Konaré, a former president of Mali who also chaired the African Union Commission from 2003 to 2008, and includes the Prime Minister of Djibouti and a special representative from the office of the Botswanan President.

The delegation had already met with Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy on Sunday.

The commission is due to present a report of their findings to AU chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the coming weeks.

AU delegation in Egypt avoids 'coup' description

World Bulletin (

A nine-member high-level delegation led by Konaré arrived in Cairo earlier today to reassess the situation in the country after a decision by the AU Peace and Security Council to freeze Egypt's membership following Morsi's ouster.

The head of the visiting African Union delegation, Alpha Oumar Konaré, on Sunday avoided describing the army ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi as either a "military coup" or a "popular revolution."

In a joint press conference with interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, Konare, the former president of Mali and former chairperson of the African Union Commission, refused to answer a question on whether he would describe what happened as a "military coup" or a "popular revolution."

"We would not want to go into these details. We just arrived in Cairo," he said.

A nine-member high-level delegation led by Konaré arrived in Cairo earlier today to reassess the situation in the country after a decision by the AU Peace and Security Council to freeze Egypt's membership following Morsi's ouster.

Konaré said the delegation came to stand by the Egyptian people and meet with all parties to work together to end violence and initiate a dialogue to meet the challenges ahead.
He did not clarify whether that included meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Asked whether the visit would be a step towards reversing the AU's membership suspension decision, Konaré stressed that Egypt would want to see that happen.

The AU delegation, which is expected to stay in Egypt for several days, is also expected to meet interim President Adly Mansour, though it was not clear when.

The AU has suspended Egypt’s membership following the army's removal of Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, on July 3.

The decision is an automatic measure taken by the body following any military interruption of constitutional rule in a member state.
Egypt has sent high-level envoys to African countries to explain the latest developments in the country and demand revoking the decision.

The Foreign Ministry said last week that AU officials had "shown understanding" regarding ongoing developments in Egypt.

The powerful army ousted elected Morsi, suspended the constitution and installed Mansour, the head of Egypt's constitutional court, as interim president.

Since then, thousands of Morsi loyalists have been staging daily demonstrations and sit-ins to defend his democratic legitimacy and demand his reinstatement.

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