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    Cameron makes unannounced visit to Egypt


    by ODN


    David Cameron has arrived in Cairo, Egypt to hold talks with the military leadership in a bid to help ensure a "genuine transition" to civilian rule.

    The Prime Minister has made the unannounced visit at the start of his scheduled tour of the Gulf region. He is the first world leader to arrive in Egypt since the recent revolution forced Hosni Mubarak out of office 10 days ago.

    Mr Cameron is due to hold face-to-face talks with the head of the armed forces supreme council, defence minister Mohamed Tantawi, as well as the country's prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

    Speaking on the flight to Cairo, Mr Cameron said: "This is a great opportunity for us to go and talk to those currently running Egypt to make sure this really is a genuine transition from military rule to civilian rule and see what friendly countries like Britain and others in Europe can do to help.

    "I am particularly keen about being able to get to Egypt and to be one of the first people there."

    On the agenda will be a call for the lifting of emergency laws which have been in place for more than three decades.

    He will also meet with leading figures from the anti-Mubarak opposition movement, excluding the Muslim Brotherhood - the banned Islamic group which is thought to have widespread public support.

    Speaking of the recent revolts in Egypt Mr Cameron said:"What is so refreshing about what's been happening is that this is not an Islamist revolt, this is not extremists on the streets; this is people who want to have the sort of basic freedoms that we take for granted in the UK."