Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Kamel Amr travelled to Jeddah on Sunday afternoon ahead of a ministerial group meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the situation in Mali to be held on Monday.
Ministry spokesperson Amr Roshdy said in a statement published on Sunday that the formation of the ministerial group to follow the situation in Mali is a result of the Islamic Summit that was held in Cairo in February. Roshdy said the group includes 15 member states and Egypt was keen to be included in the group “confirming its interest in African issues and its commitment to support African peace and security”.
The meeting in Jeddah will address the issues raised in the Declaration on Mali that the OIC announced in February. One of the main topics to be discussed is “the establishment of a Special Fund on a voluntary basis to support development in Mali”, said Roshdy.
This meeting comes at a time when a series of regional and international meetings are being held on the situation in Mali, according to the ministry statement. Amr will also participate in an international donor conference in Brussels on Wednesday, which aims to “mobilise international and regional support for the development process in Mali”.
Roshdy asserted that Amr would take this opportunity to reiterate Egypt’s “support for the unity of Mali and its sovereign and territorial integrity”. He added that Amr would also highlight that Egypt has provided humanitarian aid for displaced Malians, “as well as Egyptian programs to build the capacity of national cadres in a number of areas in order to build state institutions and enable it to fulfil its development process”.
Conflict broke out in Mali in January 2012 between the government and Islamist rebels who seized the north of the country. In March 2012 the Malian military staged a coup d’état, which was condemned by the international community. Following negotiations, Dioncounda Traoré assumed the presidency and pledged to fight the rebels in order to regain control of the country.
In response to a request for military assistance from Traoré, France launched Opération Serval in January 2013 in order to help combat the rebels.