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Egypt Boycotts African Union Session On Libya After Qatar And Turkey Invited

Egypt Boycotts African Union Session On Libya After Qatar And Turkey Invited

A view taken during the opening session of the AU on January 30, 2014 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Egypt and Libya boycotted on Wednesday the second session of the International Contact Group on Libya in Addis Ababa objecting to the presence of Qatar and Turkey.

Egypt withdrew from the meeting to “send a clear message” that there must be coordination about the participation of countries outside the African Union, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri was cited as saying by state-run MENA.

The International Contact Group for Libya is an initiative launched by the African Union in December 2014. The four-session conference will conclude with resolutions on developments in the Libya crisis.

Qatar and Turkey were invited to the meeting by the African Union Commission and both countries sent representatives to the meeting.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also boycotted the meeting for the same reason as Egypt and Libya, MENA reported.  Shukri said when a meeting this important is being held and countries outside the African Union are invited, there must be approval from member states and close coordination.

Shukri added that the session was unproductive given Libya’s absence; it was consequently suspended. He said that framework within which the meeting was held was changed, allowing for holding the talks once more, amid Egypt’s presence.

Egypt’s relations with Turkey and Qatar have been strained since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi after mass protests against his rule in July 2013.

Militant fighting in Libya has recently intensified in measures unprecedented since the overthrow of late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The African Union suspended Egypt from all its activities following the military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, which was prompted by mass protests against his rule. The suspension lasted 11 months and was lifted after Egypt elected a new president last year.

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Aswat Masriya is a Thomson Reuters Foundation-sponsored website that covers Egypt's transition to democracy. en.aswatmasriya.com

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