New Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry returned to Cairo Thursday after attending the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) 41st session and holding bi-lateral talks with several counterparts.
The OIC session was held on Wednesday and Thursday in Jeddah, making it Shoukry’s first official overseas trip after his appointment on Tuesday.
On the sidelines of the session, he met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari to discuss internal developments in Iraq, a statement by the Foreign Ministry said. Shoukry stressed Egypt’s support for Iraqi unity and called on all national parties in Iraq to resolve their differences for a strong and inclusive state.
Extremist Sunni militant groups led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched an offensive against the Shi’a-led government in Iraq last week. In response Egypt’s Foreign Ministry expressed rejection of “barbaric acts targeting civilians.”
Shoukry discussed water security with his Sudanese counterpart Ali Karti, who welcomed the resumption of Egyptian activities within the African Union. Egypt was reinstated in the African Union earlier this week after a suspension of 11 months.
He also met with Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat and Nigerien Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum. The two ministers also welcomed Egypt’s reinstatement in the African Union, stressing their countries’ support of Egypt. They also discussed various issues in Africa that are of common interest.
State-run news agency MENA reported that Shoukry also met with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania during the OIC session. He had earlier met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed Egypt’s “historical support” for Palestine.
During his speech before the OIC session, Shoukry discussed the situation in Palestine, Libya, Iraq and Syria. He also addressed the need to end all violence in Central Africa, and stressed need to halt discrimination against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.