(photo credit: Associated Press)
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak will not attend the African Union summit in Uganada despite officials earlier citing his planned attendance as proof of his good health, accoring to state media reports Saturday.
Mubarak delegated Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif to represent Egypt at the summit, which is expected to address the sensitive issue of sharing Nile River waters, the official Al-Ahram daily reported.
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In mid-July, the government press report stated that Mubarak would attend the summit. On July 14, officials specifically cited the African trip in attempt to counter reports regarding the 82-year-old president's declining health
"Presidency responds to rumors with an agenda packed with meetings and trips," read the headline of the independent Al-Masry Al-Youm
newspaper at the time, referring to his trip to Uganda.
Presidential spokesman Suleiman Awwad on Wednesday again dismissed reports Mubarak was ill, saying his staff was "out of breath" trying to keep up with his schedule.
Mubarak underwent surgery in Germany in March to remove his gall bladder
and a benign growth in the lining of his small intestine, setting off
speculation about how long he will remain in office.
The rumors dramatically affected Egypt's stock market which witnessed a
sharp decline of just over six percent for three trading days following
the president's surgery.
Mubarak has ruled Egypt for three decades. He has no clear successor and
has never appointed a vice president.