E.U.'s Ashton arrives in Cairo
By Mahmoud al-Husseini, Wednesday, April 09, 2014
CAIRO – European Union (E.U.) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton arrived in Cairo on Wednesday for a two-day visit to Egypt
Ashton is expected to hold talks with Egyptian officials and meet potential presidential candidates during the visit.
An E.U. source earlier told Anadolu Agency that Ashton will meet former army chief Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, who recently resigned as defense minister in order to contest upcoming presidential polls.
The top European diplomat will also meet leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, another presidential contender, the source, requesting anonymity, added.
Ashton is also scheduled to hold talks with interim President Adly Mansour, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi and Nabil al-Arabi, secretary-general of the Cairo-based Arab League.
The source said Ashton's visit was aimed at following up on Egypt's upcoming presidential elections slated for May 26-27 and stressing that polls should be held without government bias in favor of a particular candidate.
The source went on to say that Ashton would not meet representatives of any Egyptian political parties.
Wednesday's visit will be Ashton's fourth trip to Egypt since the army ousted elected president Mohamed Morsi last July – after only one year in office – on the back of protests against his presidency.
During a previous visit to the country last summer, Ashton met Morsi himself at an undisclosed location, where he had been taken in the wake of his ouster.
Europe's top diplomat had also met with a number of Egyptian political parties and groups – including Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood – during previous visits.
Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency