The African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council suspended Egypt from all union activities on Friday.
The suspension came after a meeting Friday morning by the Peace and Security Council to discuss the situation in Egypt. The meeting comes only two days after former president Mohamed Morsi was removed from power following mass protests which started on 30 June.
In a statement following the meeting the council said it “expresses deep concern at the risks the prevailing situation poses for the long term stability of Egypt and cohesion of its people, with far-reaching national and regional consequences.”
The Peace and Security Council said the way Morsi was removed from power “falls under the definition of an unconstitutional change of government.” It added that Egypt is suspended from all union activities until the restoration of constitutional order.
The official spokesman of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Badr Abdul Ati said in a statement that Egypt deeply regrets the decision by the Peace and Security Council.
On 3 July, Egypt’s Defence Minister Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi announced a roadmap that included holding early presidential elections, temporarily suspending the constitution and the swearing in of the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, as interim president. Mansour took the oath-of-office on Thursday morning.
Abdul Ati said the decision to suspend Egypt from the AU was based on information that does not reflect reality and does not take into account that the events of 3 July were the result of popular demands by millions of Egyptians. “The movement by the armed forces came as response to these demands,” he said, adding that the roadmap announced by the military is currently being implemented.
He said Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr has been making calls with African officials to explain to them the reality of the developments in Egypt, and that the military’s actions cannot be described as a coup. He also explained that the military has no role in political life in this transitional period.
Amr had suggested postponing the Peace and Security Council’s meeting and having a delegation from the union visit Egypt to understand the situation.
Abdul Ati finally said that Egypt’s suspension from union activities does not at all mean it is no longer a member of the union.