DAKAR – In his first trip to West Africa, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi chose Senegal as to reaffirm Egypt's growing interest in Sub-Saharan Africa.
DAKAR – In his first trip to West Africa, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi chose Senegal as to reaffirm Egypt’s growing interest in Sub-Saharan Africa.
On Wednesday night, Fahmi met with President Macky Sall in Senegalese capital Dakar.
In a brief press statement, the presidency said the top diplomat had brought a message from Egypt’s interim administration praising Sall’s “efforts to promote peace and stability in Africa.”
In a press statement, the Egyptian embassy said that Senegalese Foreign Affairs Minister Mankeur Ndiaye had commended the two countries’ relationship and had called for bolstering trade exchanges.
According to the statement, Ndiaye stressed his country’s “commitment to help Egypt complete its political transition.”
Observers believe the assertions signal a change in Senegal’s official position regarding recent events in Egypt.
In mid-August, Senegal publicly condemned political violence in Egypt and called for the release of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
At the time, Ndiaye had called on the Egyptian army “to stop violence, release president Morsi and let the country return to its constitutional order.”
A group of activists calling themselves “the Islamic Gathering in Senegal,” meanwhile, delivered a letter of protest to the Egyptian ambassador in Senegal.
Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, was ousted by the powerful military establishment on July 3 following mass protests against his presidency.
Following Morsi’s ouster, the African Union suspended Egypt’s membership in the pan-African body.
Fahmi told reporters that, after Egypt’s “corrective revolution” on June 30, his government wanted to reestablish the country’s leading regional and international role.
“We’re aware that Egypt needs Africa, as Africa needs Egypt,” he said.
“We can’t ignore Africa,” Fahmi added. “I’m happy that the Senegalese authorities have been receptive to our message.”
“The Egyptian people’s message after the June 30 revolution has been well received by the governments and peoples of our African brothers,” the minister said.
He also underlined the importance of promoting bilateral cooperation in all fields, including education and infrastructure.
The foreign minister went on to call on Egyptian companies to support development projects in Senegal.
Fahmi also stressed that Egypt’s transitional roadmap was on track, adding that a popular referendum would soon be held on a new Egyptian constitution, which is currently being drafted.
Following Morsi’s ouster, the military unveiled a roadmap calling for the amendment of Egypt’s 2012 constitution to eventually be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections.