By Marina Makary
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry announced that Egypt did not attend the opening meeting session of the International Contact Group for Libya Wednesday morning in Addis Ababa, state media reported.
Shoukry explained the decision came in accordance with the Libyan Foreign Minister, and representatives of the UAE and Saudi Arabia. It came in light of the failure of the African Union (AU) Commission’s commitment to familiar procedures of conducting such meetings only after consultation and coordination with AU states.
Egypt’s objection came after Turkey and Qatar were invited by the commissions’ chair, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to attend the ministerial-level gathering, according to state-run news agency MENA
He added that Egypt’s absence from the meeting aimed “to send a clear message” that there must be close coordination AU countries regarding participation of countries outside the union for AU-linked meetings.
However, Shoukry clarified that Egypt still participated in the meeting with a minor delegation headed by Amgad Abdulghaffar, Deputy Assistant to the Foreign Minister for African Organisations. This is due to its interest in Libyan affairs and its support for the Libyan government, according to state media.
Relations between Egypt and both Turkey and Qatar have been tense since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, who was supported by both countries.