EGYPT’S President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has cancelled his visit to Mauritania to attend the Arab League summit there, sending instead his premier Ismail Sherif as the head of the delegation.

The presidential statement gave no reason for the cancellation but the Egyptian press carried unconfirmed reports of fears that there would be an attempt on El-Sissi’s life during the gathering in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.

Egypt’s delegation at the summit, which starts on Monday, will be headed by prime minister Ismail Sherif.

The privately owned Al-Masry al-Youm daily reported that the president’s office received credible information about the plot and based on it, the president decided not to go.

Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu-Zeid declined to comment on the reports.