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AU ready to let Egypt back in

Cairo - The African Union is set to re-admit Egypt and end its nearly year-long suspension from the grouping because of the country's military coup, an official said on Wednesday.

Egypt was suspended from the 54-member pan-African bloc last July, after former president Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, was ousted by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in a coup.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seen during a news conference in Cairo on May 22, 2013. File picture: Reuters. Credit: Reuters

Diplomats said the AU's Peace and Security Council agreed to reinstate Egypt after a meeting late on Tuesday, even though the organisation's regulations hold that the governments of member states must be democratically elected.

“The information you have is correct,” AU deputy chairperson Erastus Mwencha told AFP when asked if Egypt was set to be formally re-admitted. AU officials said a formal statement would be released later on Wednesday.

Sisi overwhelmingly won last month's election, which was boycotted by Morsi supporters and secular dissidents.

Sisi is Egypt's second elected president since the overthrow of longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak nearly three years ago, which plunged the country into turmoil.

Thousands of Morsi supporters have been jailed since Morsi was ousted and scores of journalists arrested. - AFP

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