World Bulletin / News Desk
Tunisian Foreign Minister Mongi Hamdi will represent his country at next week's inauguration ceremony for Egyptian President-elect Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
"The decision came in response to an official invitation to the Tunisian presidency," the Egyptian embassy said in a Wednesday statement.
On Tuesday, al-Sisi, a former army chief, was declared the winner of last week's presidential poll, in which he was said to have clinched almost 97 percent of the vote.
Egypt's army-installed interim presidency has invited 22 countries, 16 of whom have already confirmed their attendance, to a planned inauguration ceremony to be held on Sunday in Cairo, according to a well-placed source.
A spokesman for the Tunisian presidency had earlier told AA that the Egyptian presidency had formally invited its Tunisian counterpart to attend next week's planned inauguration.
"[Egyptian] Interim President Adly Mansour has extended an invitation to the Tunisian presidency," Shaker Bouguila, the Tunisian presidency's media attaché, told AA.
The well-placed source had told AA earlier that Egypt's interim government would not send invitations to Turkey, Qatar, Tunisia or Israel.
Just before the inauguration, al-Sisi is expected to be sworn in before Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court.
Al-Sisi had been serving as defense minister when the army ousted elected president Mohamed Morsi last July following opposition protests.
Last September, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki had called for Morsi's release after the ousted leader was whisked off to an unknown location by the military.
In the months following Morsi's ouster, Cairo recalled its ambassadors from Ankara, Doha and Tunis, accusing the three countries of "interfering" in Egypt's affairs.
The Egyptian government has also avoided inviting Israel to al-Sisi's inauguration.
This was presumably meant to avert a public backlash, as the self-proclaimed Jewish state continues to be seen in a negative light by much of the Egyptian public – despite a 1979 peace treaty between Cairo and Tel Aviv.
According to the source, countries whose governments have confirmed their attendance at the inauguration include: Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, the United States, Russia, South Africa, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan and Nigeria.
Last week's presidential polls, the second since Egypt's 2011 uprising that unseated Hosni Mubarak, constitute the second phase of a transitional roadmap imposed by al-Sisi in the wake of Morsi's July 3 ouster.
The vote, however, was widely boycotted by Morsi supporters and youth groups opposed to the notion of yet another military man as Egypt's next president.Last Mod: 05 Haziran 2014, 10:06