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Egypt says not invited to US Africa summit

Wednesday - 1/22/2014, 4:50pm  ET

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday that a U.S. decision not to invite Cairo to a summit of African leaders to be held in Washington this summer was "wrong and short-sighted."

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters in Washington that Egypt was not invited because the country's membership to the African Union has been suspended.

The African Union suspended Egypt's membership in July after the coup that ousted President Mohammed Morsi. AU Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said then that the removal of Morsi qualified as an unconstitutional change of government under the union's doctrine.

Spokesman Badr Abdelatty made his comments a day after the White House announced the Aug. 5-6 summit.

Relations between the United States and Egypt remain lukewarm. The United States announced in October it was cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid after the overthrow of Morsi, the nation's first freely elected president, following large-scale popular protests demanding his removal. The military has also enacted a wide scale crackdown on dissenters.

On Jan. 14, Congress approved a spending bill that would restore $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt, but only on the condition that the Egyptian government ensures democratic reform. On Sunday, a congressional delegation led by U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California met with Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour.

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