France pledges to help Egypt's 'fantastic transition'
France's junior minister for trade Pierre Lellouche pledged French support for Egypt during a visit to Cairo on Wednesday, extending an invitation for the country to attend a Group of Eight summit next month in France.
"My presence here ... is a testimony of the absolute conviction in France that Egypt is going to succeed this fantastic transition to democracy," Lellouche said at a joint news conference with his Egyptian counterpart Samir Youssef al-Sayyad.
"We know it's a difficult transition," Lellouche said more than two months after a popular revolt ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak. "We are going to do our best to help."
"I believe the advent of democracy and rule of law is going to be good for the Egyptian economy. Corruption, favoritism, violations of law or contracts is not good for business or for growth," Lellouche said.
The French official said he told Prime Minister Essam Sharaf "that he was invited by the president of France to come to the G8 summit at the end of May".
Lellouche also met with Finance Minister Samir Radwane and the head of the Arab League, Amr Mussa, who has announced his intention to run for the presidency in November.
Lellouche also spoke by telephone with the another presidential hopeful, Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
© 2011 AFP