With his country in crisis, Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi has visited Germany eager to convince Chancellor Angela Merkel of his commitment to democracy.
Merkel pushed Mursi to engage with all of Egypt’s political factions to restore order after a week of deadly protests:
“On my side, I have made it very clear that for us there several things that are very important. One is that the line for dialogue is always open to all political forces in Egypt, that the different political forces can make their contribution. Another is that human rights are adhered to in Egypt,” Merkel said.
Mursi was keen to show his openness to dialogue, but refused to agree to a national unity coalition government, as sought by the opposition.
“We aspire to be a modern state, a civilian not a military state, not even a theocratic one. A civilian state of law with a framework in which we share opinions and democracy,” Mursi said.
Around 70 protesters gathered outside Merkel’s office. Mursi’s critics accuse him of keeping too much power in his own hands and those of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He was elected a year ago, following a revolution that overthrew the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.