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British Prime Minister David Cameron visits New Egypt


British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Egypt on Monday to meet with the army-led interim government and discuss about ensuring peaceful transition to democratic rule.

Cameron became the first head of state to visit Egypt following a relatively peaceful people power that toppled former strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak has ruled Egypt for nearly a quarter of century of dictatorial regime that was saddled with charges of corruption and abuse of power.

Cameron’s visit indicated the Britain’s interest in seeing to it that the democratic processes are restored, starting with the setting of free elections in the immediate term.

“I think this is a great opportunity to talk to those currently running Egypt to make sure this really is a genuine transition from military rule to civilian rule,” the British prime minister said.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which currently plays a key role in the post-Mubarak era, has rejected moves for government reshuffle and pressed for a clean slate and rid the cabinet of all Mubarak-appointed officials.

But the British government is dousing called water on the Brotherhood, which is considered Egypt’s most organized political grouping but regarded with suspicion in the West.

The Brotherhood was disappointed with the reshuffle late on Sunday which listed several anti-Mubarak opponents but retained those previously holding the defense, foreign, justice, interior and finance portfolios.

“No one offered us any post and had they done so, we would have refused because we request what the public demands that this government quit as it is part of the former regime,” said Essam El-Erian, a senior member of the Brotherhood.

“We want a new technocratic government that has no connection with the old era,” he added.

Jon Mills

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