The African Union High-Level Panel for Egypt completes a fact-finding and consultative mission in Cairo

The African Union (AU) High-Level Panel for Egypt concluded its visit to Cairo, yesterday, 4 August 2013. The Panel arrived in Cairo on 27 July 2013, as part of a fact-finding  and consultative mission.

According to a statement from the AU, during its stay, the High-Level Panel had extensive and constructive discussions with various Egyptian stakeholders. It met with Interim President Mansour Adly, Interim Vice-President Mohammed El Baradei, Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi and Interim Vice Prime Minister and Defense Minister, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The Panel also met with other members of the interim Government, namely Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy, Minister of Justice Adel Abdel Hamied, and Minister of Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation Amin El Mahdi.

The Panel also met with H.E. Mr. Mohamed Morsi. It visited the al-RabaaAdawiya neighborhood in Cairo, to discuss with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and parties, groupings and personalities that are associated with it.

The Panel held consultations with other Egyptian actors, including political parties the National Council for Women, human rights and civil society organizations, the Egyptian Council on Foreign Relations, as well as intellectuals and writers. It also met with high-level personalities, such as former Foreign Minister and former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States AmrMoussa.

The Panel also met with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Nabil Elaraby. Similarly, it conferred with African and European Ambassadors accredited to Egypt.

These consultations have enabled the Panel to have a better appreciation of the situation in Egypt. The Panel took the opportunity thus afforded to present its mandate and explain the objectives being pursued by the AU.

The Panel impressed upon all its interlocutors the need for the Egyptian stakeholders to exercise utmost restraint, avoid any recourse to violence and endeavour,  through dialogue and in a spirit of compromise and mutual tolerance, to resolve the existing problems, in order to facilitate an inclusive and peaceful transition. It urged the Egyptian actors to place the interests of Egypt and its people above all partisan and other considerations.

The Panel strongly emphasized the AU’s commitment, in the spirit of African solidarity and on the basis of relevant AU instruments, to do its utmost in assisting the Egyptian stakeholders to overcome the current challenges. In this regard, the Panel stressed the importance of Egypt to the rest of Africa, recalling that a stable, democratic and prosperous Egypt is a tremendous asset for the AU, of which it is a founding member.

The Panel expresses its sincere gratitude to the Egyptian authorities for the warm welcome extended to it and the full cooperation received throughout its stay in Cairo in the fulfillment of its mission. The Panel also expresses its gratitude to all the other Egyptian stakeholders for their availability and for having shared with it their assessment of the situation and prospects of its evolution. The Panel is confident that it can continue to count on the cooperation of all the stakeholders in the implementation of the important and challenging mandate entrusted to it.

It is to be recalled that the High-Level Panel for Egypt was established by the Chairperson of the Commission, Dr. NkosazanaDlaminiZuma, on 8 July 2013 following the meeting held by the AU Peace and Security Council on 5 July 2013, to review the situation in Egypt. The Panel is chaired by former President Alpha OumarKonare of Mali and comprises former President Festus Mogae of Botswana and former Djibouti Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita. It held its inaugural meeting in Addis Ababa, on 16 July 2013.

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