Germany has cancelled talks on development cooperation with Egypt and postponed debt relief that could amount to €240 million.
In an interview with German newspaper Berlin Zeitung on Monday, German Minister of Development Dirk Niebel said that he is concerned over the status of the democratic transition in Egypt, saying “there is a risk that the dictatorial system of the deposed President [Hosni] Mubarak is revived, only this time with other people.”
Niebel said “because of the unclear situation the intergovernmental negotiations on development cooperation, which should have taken place in mid-December, are cancelled.” He added, “the planned partial debt relief will not be given.”
In his interview Niebel also highlighted the instability in the Middle East, referring to the conflicts in Syria and Gaza, “which means enormous instability in Egypt and security risks beyond the region.”
A spokesperson for the German ministry of development confirmed the Niebel’s statements and said, “further debt relief is postponed at this moment.” The spokesperson added, “The sum of €240 million is the possible total amount of debt relief between 2011 and 2014.”
Niebel said that his country is willing to work with Egypt, saying, “we are ready to support a transformation towards more democracy and rule of law in Egypt.” He added, “it lies in the hands of the Egyptian government.”
President Mohamed Morsy accepted an invitation from German Chancellor Angel Merkel to visit Germany after he assumed office. It is not clear when this trip is expected to take place.