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African Union refuses Egyptian request to attend summit

Diplomatic sources have said that the African Union has refused Egypt's request to join the organisation's Peace and Security Council summit which started in Addis Ababa on Wednesday.

The anonymous sources revealed that Egypt's Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs, Hamdi Sanad Loza, submitted an official request to join the summit but the African Union refused. Apparently Loza also asked to meet with an AU Committee concerned with Egypt's affairs but that too was rejected. The committee said that it had already met with officials from the interim government during a visit to Cairo.

Loza sent a letter to the African Union Commission complaining that the AU Peace and Security Council had rushed to suspend Egypt's membership in the Union, even though the interim government in Cairo has taken several positive steps in the transition to democracy and a civilian state. He cited the recent referendum on the constitution and the setting of a date for parliamentary and presidential elections. "Egypt has been an integral part and is a co-founder of the African Union," said the Egyptian deputy minister, who urged the AU to reconsider the decision to suspend Egypt's membership.

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