Egypt and Libya have boycotted an African Union (AU) meeting in Addis Ababa after Turkey and Qatar, whose ties with Cairo have been strained, were invited, state news agency MENA reported.
Cairo and Tripoli were not represented at the second meeting of the Contact Group for Libya (ICG-L) on Wednesday to object to a decision by the AU to “invite parties to attend the meeting without consultation with African countries,” MENA said.
The move came after Turkey and Qatar were invited by the chair of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to attend the ministerial-level gathering, according to MENA.
Egypt has been at odds with Turkey and the Gulf Arab state of Qatar since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was strongly backed by both states.
Turkey has since been harshly critical of Egypt’s new authorities, slamming Morsi’s ouster as an unacceptable “coup.”
But there have been signs of a thaw in relations between Cairo and Doha after Saudi Arabia brokered efforts towards rapprochement late last year, resulting in meetings between officials of both countries.
The ICG-L was established in September 2014 by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) with the aim of working towards a lasting political solution to end violence in strife-torn Libya. Its inaugural meeting was held in December.
The contact group is composed of representatives from Libya neighbours, African Union member states, the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the Arab League, the European Union, and North African states, as well as Italy and Spain.
MENA earlier said that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to take part in the 24th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, which runs from January 23 to 31, later this week.
Source: Ahram Online