FILE-Minister ofState for African Affairs Ahmed AbdelAziz Qattan FILE-Minister ofState for African Affairs Ahmed AbdelAziz Qattan

Debates to delay Arab summit after Egypt’s election

Thu, Mar. 8, 2018
CAIRO – 8 March 2018: Minister of State for African Affairs Ahmed AbdelAziz Qattan said on Wednesday that the Arab countries are discussing delaying the 29th Arab summit to April after the Egyptian presidential election.

During a press conference with Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul-Gheiton Wednesday at the closing of the 149th session of the Council of the Arab League at the level of the Arab Foreign Ministers, Qattan revealed that Saudi Arabia will host the 29th Arab summit instead of the United Arab Emirates.

He added that the summit should have been held in March, but the presidential election,set to take place between March 26 and 28, raises some suggestions to delay the summit to ensure Egypt's effective participation.

In this regard, Aboul-Gheit expressed his hope that the upcoming summit in Riyadh will give a new impetus to boost common Arab actions in the social, economic and political fields and enhance the cooperation and consultations between the Arab leaders.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman discussed with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during his three-day-visit to Egypt delaying the Arab summit so as not to coincide with the presidential election, according to high level sources.

Saudi Arabia is keen to host the summit and exerts massive efforts to remove all obstacles in the way of enhancing cooperation between Arab countries in light of the regional and international status, added the sources.

Voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26, as announced by the National Electoral Authority (NEA) on January 8. Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote between March 16 and 18.

Sisi officially announced his candidacy for the 2018 presidential election on January 19.

President Sisi took office in 2014 after protesters toppled the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated ex-President Mohamed Morsi.
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