Africa and the Arab world are warming up ties in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh where the October session of the Pan-African Parliament opens today.
After Monday's solemn opening ceremony at Sharm-el-Sheikh International Conference Centre presided at by PAP President Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang and the swearing in of 11 new members, the high point will be a meeting between the Arab Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament.
Egypt which is hosting the event on the heels of its Parliament's 150th anniversary, seeks to go beyond being the geographical bridge between both regions to becoming it's political link.
In a press briefing Sunday, Roger Nkodo Dang said it was mutually beneficial for the Arabs to now turn their attention from Europe to Africa.
The warming up of ties between the Arabs and Africa is expected to shape up when the two parliamentary bodies meet later this Monday in Sharm-el-Sheikh. The speaker of the National Assembly of Egypt, Ali Abdul Aal Sayed Ahmed, the speaker of the Arab Parliament, Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Jarwan, and Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi are all expected to find words to woo the continent of the future.
A keen observer, Martin Chungong, Secretary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, told the press that "democracy is work in progress" adding that Egypt has the history and will to lead the way for Africa, the Middle East and the Arab world.
Almost as a sign of worsening relations between the Arab world and the west, UK House of Commons Speaker John Bercow came under verbal fire from the Egyptian press for his country's latest travel warning, urging British tourists to be careful in Egypt. Mr. Bercow insisted "this is not a political vendetta against the Sisi government" noting that the warning doesn't tell tourists not to visit, but to be careful. This latest travel warning is perceived as another blow to Egypt's struggling post-revolution tourism industry.
Observers feel this is a unique opportunity for the Arab world and the African continent to rekindle a waning relationship and work together for their shared interests. Will the charm of Sharm work?
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