Egypt wants AU membership restored: FM
Updated: 2014-01-07 10:56
Egypt's Foreign Minister Fahmi Nabil speaks during a news conference with Algeria's Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra in Algiers, Jan 6, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
ALGIERS - Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi urged on Monday the African Union (AU) to restore Egypt's membership suspended after the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi.
Fahmi, who was on a two-day visit to Algeria, indicated at a joint press conference with his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra that the decision to freeze Egypt's AU membership "was wrong and did not take into consideration the specific circumstances that Egypt was facing."
Fahmi called on the AU's Peace and Security Council "to review the decision quickly," given that "Egypt is in the process of issuing a new constitution, ahead of bringing back the constitutional structure into force."
The Council suspended Egypt's AU membership on July 5, 2013, two days after the ouster of Morsi, saying the overthrow of Morsi was "unconstitutional".
Lamamra, who used to be the chairman of the Council, noted that freezing Egypt's membership "was a precautionary measure intended to encourage it to restore work with the constitution in Egypt".
"Algeria has never participated in the isolation of any African country suffering from political instability," Lamamra said. "Nobody can give lessons to Algeria in this matter."
Lamamra stressed that Algeria does not interfere in Egypt's internal affairs and hopes that Egyptians come out of the ordeal.
Fahmi's visit to Algeria would "boost dialogue and political consultation between the two countries and renew bilateral cooperation and coordination on the regional and international issues of common interest", he said.
Fahmi arrived in Algeria on Sunday and met with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and other senior officials.
He said he had handed to the Algerian president a letter from interim Egyptian President Adli Mansour on bilateral cooperation and a number of issues of common interest.
He discussed with Bouteflika "ways to intensify bilateral cooperation through specific steps, as well as a couple of current issues such as the situation in Syria and Palestine as well as the reform of the Arab League", the Egyptian minister said.
Fahmi also noted that his visit to Algeria "is not meant to discuss the internal situation in Egypt..." but aimed at "enhancing bilateral cooperation in various fields". He refuted reports that Egypt requested a loan from Algeria.