Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb concluded a two-day visit to Equatorial Guinea on Saturday following meetings between him, Egyptian ministers, and high level Equatorial Guinean government officials to strengthen ties and push for Egypt’s reinstatement into the African Union.
The interim prime minister spent his last day in the small central African nation meeting with members of the Egyptian community there to explain government plans for economic reform and political developments.
Mehleb traveled with members of his cabinet, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy, Minister of Agriculture Ayman Abu Hadid, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Sherif Ismail, Minister of Health Adel Hassan Al-Adawi, and Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouly.
The prime minister on Friday visited the site on which the Egyptian Embassy to Equatorial Guinea will be built in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Arab Contractors.
The Egyptian delegation also visited the Petroleum Industrial Zone and discussed possible cooperation between the two countries in the field of petroleum; they also examined other building sites on which housing projects are being constructed by the Cairo-based Arab Contractors.
Mehleb also met with his counterpart Prime Minister Vicente Ehate Tomi to discuss cooperation between the two countries. Mehleb also invited Tomi to visit Egypt. The two discussed, in addition, a declaration of intent signed by both countries during the visit, dealing with a number of bilateral issues.
The Egyptian prime minister also met the President of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo and Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue.
Mehleb delivered to the president a letter written by Egyptian interim President Adly Mansour in which the latter discussed the transitional roadmap, noting upcoming presidential elections.
The Equatorial Guinean president awarded Mehleb the First Class Independence Medal, a traditional award given by the African government, “in recognition of the relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries, and in honour of the prominent and pivotal role played by Mehleb to strengthen bonds of cooperation between Egypt and Equatorial Guinea and Egypt over the past years,” according to a statement issued by the Egyptian cabinet.
“It should be noted that the Equatorial Guinean capital of Malabo will host the next African Union summit, which is expected to decide the issue of lifting the suspension of Egypt’s membership,” said a statement issued by the Egyptian cabinet ahead of Mehleb’s visit.
During his meeting with the Equatorial Guinean president, Mehleb said that Egypt “is counting on strong support by Equatorial Guinea” when it comes to Egypt’s reinstatement in the Peace and Security Council.
Egypt’s membership to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council was suspended shortly after former president Mohamed Morsi was ousted last July. Since then the interim government and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs has undertaken diplomatic campaigns throughout Africa in an effort to gain reinstatement into the council. On Saturday the foreign ministry said its ambassadors in the African countries of Seychelles, Senegal, and Mali met with government officials to discuss developments in Egypt ahead of the African Union summit, scheduled to take place on 20-27 June.
Last week the African Union announced it would send a mission to monitor upcoming presidential elections in Egypt. The mission will include more than 50 parliamentarians, journalists, and civil society representatives from various African countries.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised the announcement as “an important step in response to an invitation by the Egyptian government” and said it would be followed by other “positive steps towards restoring the Egyptian role within the framework of the African Union”.
At the beginning delegation’s visit to Malabo, foreign minister Fahmy praised Equatorial Guinea’s stance towards Egypt, stating that the visit confirmed the country’s “interest in Egypt a the political level” and its positive attitude towards developments in Egypt.