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Egypt calls on world to aid its economic recovery

Abul Gheit asks military to urge against further protests and the international community to aid Egypt economy

AFP, Tuesday 15 Feb 2011
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Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Tuesday called on the international community to help speed Egypt's economic recovery after a revolt that toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

The top diplomat -- a member of a caretaker cabinet that military rulers have said will serve until a new government is formed following free elections -- also reaffirmed Cairo's support for the Palestinians.

Abul Gheit has called on "international parties to provide aid to the Egyptian economy, which has been severely affected by the political crisis that has shaken the country," his ministry said in a statement.

His remarks came after a wave of strikes threatened to paralyse the country in the wake of Mubarak's fall, prompting the military leadership to urge against -- though not prohibit -- further protests and civil disobedience.

Abul Gheit also "emphasised that Egypt remains close to the Palestinian cause and continues to support the rights of the Palestinian people," including the pursuit of a UN Security Council resolution to freeze Israeli settlements.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces soothed fears in Israel and Washington when it said on Saturday that it would abide by all Egypt's international treaties, including the landmark 1979 peace deal with Israel.

Abul Gheit's remarks came after he spoke to his US, British and Saudi counterparts, as well as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

The military council has set a six-month timetable for democratic elections and vowed to hand power over to a civilian government in line with the demands of the protesters who drove Mubarak from power after a 30-year reign.

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