EU pledges support for Egypt’s democratic transition
The European Union Sunday pledged support for Egypt's troubled democratic transition, with the bloc's president saying that success of this process was important for the region and the world, dpa reported.
"The European Union and associated financial institutions have offered an amount of more than 5 billion euros, or more than 6.5 billion dollars, in grants, concessional loans and loans for a period of 2012 and 2013 to support Egypt's democratic transition," the EU President Herman Van Rompuy said after talks with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo.
The meeting was Van Rompuy's second with Morsi in four months.
Both officials had met in Brussels in September, when Morsi made his first trip to Europe after becoming Egypt's first elected civilian president.
A recent political feud between Morsi's Islamist backers and the secular-minded opposition has added to the woes of the Egyptian economy, which has been in a tailspin since a popular revolt forced Hosny Mubarak to step down almost two years ago.
Van Rompuy was to meet later on Sunday with leaders from the main opposition alliance, the National Salvation Front.
"The world is watching what is going on in Cairo," he said at a joint press conference with Morsi.
"This is an important day for us to discuss our views regarding ways of developing our relations and completing the dialogue we started in Brussels," said Morsi.
Egypt is the EU's biggest trade partner.