By: Emily Crane
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received approval for its nomination of former Vice President Mahmoud Mekki as the new ambassador to the Vatican, according to state-run news agency MENA.
Mekki received the appointment as ambassador in January, one month after his resignation from the position of vice president, a post which was abolished as part of the newly adopted constitution. Since his resignation, Mekki has worked as the chairman of a national dialogue forum sponsored by President Mohamed Morsi.
There has not been an Egyptian ambassador to the Vatican since the end of Lamia Mukhaimar’s term in September 2012. Morsi had initially offered the position to Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, the prosecutor general at the time, effectively removing him from his position. Mahmoud declined the appointment, saying that he had not been consulted and the president could not remove him from his post.
As a result, Morsi granted himself immunity from judicial oversight, changed the retirement age for those working in the judiciary and effectively forced Mahmoud from office. Morsi then appointed Tala’at Abdallah as the new prosecutor general as part of his November constitutional declaration and offered the ambassador position to Mekki one month later.
Additional reporting by Luiz Sanchez