EU's Ashton to visit Egypt next week, officials say
The European Union's foreign policy chief is to visit Egypt next week, the first high-ranking foreign dignitary to do so since the fall of president Hosny Mubarak, officials said, DPA reported.
On February 4, EU leaders mandated Catherine Ashton to visit Egypt to offer "full support to the transition processes towards democratic governance, pluralism, improved opportunities for economic prosperity and social inclusion, and strengthened regional stability."
Despite repeated requests, Mubarak's government refused to invite her to the country, arguing that their hands were full dealing with the domestic consequences of the pro-democracy uprising.
But now the army-led interim regime has accepted Ashton's request for a visit, with the EU High Representative set to travel to Cairo on Tuesday, officials close to her said.
Details of the visit are yet to be released. However, on a trip to Tunisia this week, Ashton met with the country's main political leaders and with representatives of non-governmental organisations and human-rights groups, a pattern she is likely to repeat in Egypt.