Egypt and South Africa not competing over UN Council membership, says Abul Gheit

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abul Gheit on Monday dismissed suggestions that Egypt is competing with South Africa for permanent membership in the UN Security Council.

Abul Gheit also said the two countries were capable of protecting African interests.

“There is no competition between Egypt and South Africa for permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council, that phase is behind us,” said Abul Gheit following a meeting with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

In fact, Security Council permanent membership has ceased expansion so competition would be futile, according to Abul Gheit.

“What we are looking forward to at the current time is more cooperation and joint projects between African countries," he added. "Keep in mind, Africa is facing huge political and military pressures.”

South African President Jacob Zuma visited Cairo Tuesday to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Zuma's retinue of ministers and businessman accompanied him.

Discussions between the two heads of state covered numerous international and regional issues of mutual interest, including efforts to resolve African conflicts. The talks also focused on supporting development and establishing joint projects aimed at infrastructural improvements and trade and investment promotion between the two countries.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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