News story

PM hails “great opportunity” for Egypt

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Prime Minister has travelled to Egypt for talks with the interim administration while heralding the "great opportunity" the nation now has for a transition from military to civilian rule.

In a meeting with Field Marshall Mohammed Tantawi in Cairo this morning, the PM spoke of the UK’s willingness to be helpful and contribute to a successful political transition.

He said:

This is a great opportunity for us to go and talk to those currently running Egypt to make sure this really is a genuine transition from military rule to civilian rule and see what friendly countries like Britain and others in Europe can do to help.

The Prime Minister also spoke last night to the King of Bahrain by telephone, urging restraint in the handling of protests and voicing support for the national dialogue established by the Bahraini Government following recent demonstrations.

Referring to reports of violence being used against demonstrators in Libya, the PM said the situation was “completely appalling and unacceptable”. The response of all those in authority in countries affected by the recent wave of protests should be one of “reform not repression”, he said.

The Prime Minister is on a tour of the Middle East that has the aim of encouraging political reform, boosting trade and strengthening security ties. While in Egypt, he is also expected to hold meetings with Egyptian PM Ahmed Shafiq and with members of the opposition movement.