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China Pledges Credit, Police Cars to Egypt

August 28, 2012

by VOA News

China has made several gestures to Egypt's visiting president to help him boost the ailing Egyptian economy, offering credit to a major Egyptian bank and providing police cars for the country's security forces.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi secured the Chinese pledges of support on Tuesday, after arriving in Beijing on his first visit outside the Arab world since taking office in June. Morsi met with Chinese President Hu Jintao before the two leaders witnessed the signing of several economic agreements.

Under the deals, China will offer of $200 million in credit to the National Bank of Egypt and provide Egyptian police with 300 vehicles. A delegation of 80 Egyptian business leaders also was in Beijing to discuss investment projects with Chinese counterparts.

The Egyptian economy has been battered by the global economic slowdown and 18 months of political instability since the February, 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime autocratic president Hosni Mubarak.

Sharp declines in Egypt's tourist arrivals and foreign investment have forced the government to seek billions of dollars in assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

Morsi is seeking to boost Chinese tourism and investment in his country, whose trade with China reached $8.8 billion last year, up 40 percent from 2008.

Morsi spokesman Yasser Ali said the two sides also discussed the violence in Syria, with both leaders agreeing that they should work together to "stop the bleeding in Syrian streets" and to oppose foreign military intervention.

Morsi is due to meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.


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