Berlin: Amid mounting speculation that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak may travel to Germany for medical treatment, Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition has offered the embattled Arab leader refuge if he asks for it.
If Germany can make a constructive contribution to bring about a peaceful transition in Egypt by enabling Mubarak to travel to this country, "then we should take him, if he wants”, said Andreas Schockenhoff, deputy parliamentary leader of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.
Elke Hoff, security policy spokesperson of coalition partner Free Democratic Party, said she would welcome Mubarak's early departure for Germany if it helps to stabilise the situation in Egypt.
"This is not a political asylum," she said.
Mass-circulated Bild newspaper said the German government's position is that it does not want to force 82-year-old Mubarak into an exile in this country.
However, in the event of a medical treatment, it will enable him to travel to this country.
The New York Times had earlier reported about secret negotiations between the US government and the Egyptian military leadership on whether the current uprising against the government could be brought to an end if Mubarak leaves the country for medical treatment in Germany.
An "extended medical check-up" in Germany is one of the options being considered for an honourable departure for the President after more than three decades in power.
Bild said a possible destination for the President will be the University Hospital in Heidelberg, where he has been a regular visitor.
He had spent three weeks at the hospital in March last year to remove the gall bladder and a small intestine polyp. He also underwent medical examination for suspected intestinal cancer.
The hospital is prepared to receive him for another medical check-up at any time, a hospital spokesman said. Media reports from Egypt also said a medical treatment in Germany is one of the most likely scenarios for a dignified exit for the President, who has been defying pressures from his own people and his international allies to step down since the uprising against his rule began 13 days ago.
First Published: Sunday, February 06, 2011, 16:09