Vice President Mahmoud Mekki landed in Islamabad Thursday morning where he will lead Egypt’s delegation to the Developing Eight summit.
Mekki is attending in the place of President Mohamed Morsy who was initially scheduled to go but cancelled his trip to the Pakistani capital in order to monitor “domestic affairs,” presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali said.
The presidency did not specify which specific events Morsy is monitoring but violent protests have been ongoing in Mohamed Mahmoud Street since Monday.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Kamel Amr is part of the delegation accompanying Mekki.
The Developing Eight are a group of developing countries with large Muslim populations that have formed an economic development alliance. Member states are Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. A summit is held biennially.
The presidency has released a statement saying there are no troubles within the administration. The statement refutes rumours that Mekki wanted to resign and that spokesperson Yasser Ali was dismissed from his role.
Mekki’s days in office are numbered, however, with the Constituent Assembly set to remove the office of vice president in the new draft constitution. Vice presidential duties will be carried out by the prime minister.
Meanwhile, a suicide bomber killed least 23 people in Pakistan as they marched in a Shia procession Thursday morning, reported AFP. The bombing took place in the city of Rawalpindi. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which was directed at Shia Muslims, who currently celebrate the holy month of Muharam. A further 62 people were injured. A similar attack on a Shia mosque Wednesday night left two dead and a further five were killed as a result of a bomb in the city of Quetta.
Mekki was appointed on 12 August as part of a series of new appointments including a new defence minister. He is the brother of Minister of Justice Ahmed Mekki. Both are former judges and members of the independence of the judiciary movement that held regular protests against former President Hosni Mubarak.