Uprising in Egypt reflects `aspirations for reform`: India

As mass movement for leadership change gained momentum in Egypt, India viewed it as an articulation of the "aspirations of the Egyptian people for reform".

New Delhi: As mass movement for leadership change gained momentum in Egypt, India today viewed it as an articulation of the "aspirations of the Egyptian people for reform" and hoped the crisis will be resolved in a peaceful manner in the best interests of its people.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna described the protests as an "internal affair" of the country and hoped that a solution acceptable to the protesters will be found.

"With reference to what is happening there, it is an internal affair of that country...We hope that a resolution would be found which would be acceptable to those who are demonstrating there," he told reporters here.

Later, a statement by the External Affairs Ministry said that India continues to closely follow the "mass protests in Egypt which are an articulation of the aspirations of the Egyptian people for reform."
It hoped that "the current situation will be resolved in a peaceful manner, in the best interests of the people of Egypt."

The statement said India wishes that Egypt, a fellow developing country with which it enjoys close and traditional ties, will continue to be a strong and stable nation, contributing to peace and prosperity in the region.

Krishna said the government will make necessary arrangements to bring back Indians from there to the country if they are willing and the Indian Embassy in Cairo is in constant touch with the community.
He said two plane-loads of women and children from Egypt have already landed in India.

"If there are more Indians who want to come back, we will provide the necessary help and necessary aircraft arrangement will be done so that they can come...We are constantly in touch with the Indian community there," he said.

Making it clear that the government was not forcing anyone to come back to India, he said the ministry has issued an advisory asking citizens to avoid travelling to Egypt.

"Safety of Indians in Egypt is one of our highest priorities. We have already contacted our Ambassador Swaminathan in Cairo and I am in constant touch with him and the Foreign Secretary is in constant touch with our Embassy there," he said.

Krishna said there are about 3,200 Indians in Egypt of which 2,000 are based in Cairo.

PTI