German FM to visit Egypt

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he would travel to Egypt Wednesday, following hot on the heels of the British prime minister as the West seeks to woo the post-Mubarak Arab powerhouse.

Westerwelle was expected to hold talks with Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who heads a caretaker government, Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, as well as opposition leaders and bloggers.

“After the successful start of the revolution, we want to give a sign that we solidly support the changes in Egypt,” Westerwelle told reporters.

“On one hand, it’s about supporting democracy. On the other, Egypt now needs economic prospects, so that the people can see that more democracy also leads to more prosperity for them selves,” added the minister.

He said he would be accompanied by Development Minister Dirk Niebel and Ernst Burgbacher, a senior economy ministry official, and that Germany would make “offers” to lend assistance in rebuilding the country.