Madbouly holds bilateral talks on sidelines of 31st AU ordinary session

Sarah El-Sheikh
5 Min Read

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly held talks with his Mauritanian counterpart, Yahya Ould Hademine, on Sunday on the sidelines of his presence in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott to head the Egyptian delegation participating in the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit.

The talks included ways of enhancing joint cooperation between the two countries, as well as African integration, in light of the important issues on the agenda of the AU summit.

This is the first foreign tour for Madbouly after taking office in June. Madbouly heads the delegation on behalf of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

The sessions of the AU summit that will take place will be held under the theme “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.” The 31st ordinary session started on 25 June and is expected to end on 2 July.

Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry participated in the 33rd ordinary session of the AU executive council, which took place on 28 and 29 June. The sessions included discussions on fiscal and institutional reforms, as well as developments on the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that Egypt’s participation in the summit and its preparatory meetings come as part of the country’s commitment to addressing issues on the continent, especially as Egypt prepares to chair the summit in January 2019.

Shoukry met with a number of his African counterparts on the sidelines of the AU summit, taking place in Mauritania. The meetings mainly focused on reviewing and enhancing bilateral relations, as well as discussing regional updates.

In Shoukry’s meeting with Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutes, the two leaders discussed a number of decisions by an Egyptian-Ugandan joint cooperation committee that included setting up a 4 MW power plant in Uganda. Shoukry further proposed forming a joint business council, to focus on developing relations between the two countries.

Shoukry also met with his Tanzanian counterpart to discuss Egyptian-Tanzanian investment and ways to enhance trade and energy cooperation. The talks with the Tanzanian minister further included discussions about negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

He further held meetings with his Libyan counterpart, in which he pledged that Egypt will continue to return to dialogue between the Libyan factions to restore stability.

Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abo Zaid said during the sessions that the ministers have approved the draft budget of the AU for 2019, which will decrease 12% compared to last year’s budget. 

The foreign ministers further called on the AU to take into consideration the application of the highest standards of financial accounting and the conduct of audits for all activities of the commission and the institutions of the AU, to ensure rationalisation and proper spending and guidance to serve the objectives of the development agenda of 2063.

The African ministers also agreed to Egypt’s offer to host the headquarters of the African Union Centre for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development, noting that the centre is one of the most important pillars of the African peace and security system.

Moreover, Egypt stressed on the necessity of controlling and rationalising the budget and directing expenditure for priority projects of the African continent, with the aim to achieve sustainable development for African peoples, Abu Zaid said.

The meetings of the Council of African Ministers of Foreign Affairs preceded several ministerial meetings, in which Egypt participated, including the meetings of the 15th ministerial committee of finance, held on 27 June, which was attended by Deputy Minister of Finance Ihab Abu Aish and discussed in detail the AU draft budget for 2019.

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