Egypt's Morsi attends AU summit

July 16, 2012 at 10:25 AM
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CAIRO, July 16 (UPI) -- Egyptian focus on African states is moving in the right direction, the Ethiopian envoy to Cairo said on the arrival in Addis Ababa of the Egyptian president.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi arrived Monday in the Ethiopian capital to attend the African Union summit. It was the first such visit by an Egyptian president since 1995, when former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was the target of an assassination attempt in the city.

Ethiopian Ambassador to Egypt Mohamed Edrees told Egyptian news agency al-Ahram that Morsi's visit was a sign of improved regional ties.

"Egypt has not given Africa enough high level attention in recent years, even though it is very important for us but today this is changing," he said. "Africa is a crucial area of interest for Egypt."

Morsi last week made his first official trip as president to Saudi Arabia.

During the weekend, the African Union elected Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its first woman to lead the 54-member bloc. She's the former wife of South African President Jacob Zuma.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during weekend meetings with Morsi, welcomed his decision to attend the AU summit as an effort to "reassert Egyptian leadership in Africa."

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