Mursi in Germany to drum up urgent help

Copy of MDF88514 REUTERS A protester opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi stands in front of fire that they set during clashes with the riot police along Qasr Al Nil bridge, which leads to Tahrir Square, in Cairo on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

Cairo - President Mohamed Mursi left Egypt’s political crisis behind on Wednesday on a short trip to Germany to seek urgently needed foreign investment and convince Europe of his democratic credentials.

But with the army chief warning on Tuesday that the state was on the brink of collapse after days of lethal street violence, Mursi cancelled plans to go on to Paris from Berlin and will instead hurry back to Cairo later in the day.

Fifty-two people have been killed in unrest surrounding the two-year anniversary of Egypt’s popular revolution, whose values Mursi’s critics say he has betrayed.

His supporters say protesters want to overthrow the first democratically elected leader.

The instability has stirred unease in the West about the direction of Egypt, where a currency slump has compounded severe economic problems.

Mursi will be keen to allay those fears when he meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel and powerful industry groups.

“President Mursi is very welcome in Germany,” Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, said last week.

Germany’s industry leaders see potential in Egypt, but are concerned about political instability there.

“At the moment many firms are waiting on political developments and are cautious on any big investments,” said Hans Heinrich Driftmann, the president of Germany’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK).

DIHK’s Africa expert Steffen Behm said no German companies were leaving Egypt, but none was setting up there either. – Reuters


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