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£5m deal to boost Egyptian economy

A £5 million package to boost the Egyptian economy is to be announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg during a visit to Cairo.

The British money is intended to help create jobs in the country as it tries to make the transition to democracy in the wake of the Arab Spring.

It will go to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and help improve access to credit for small and medium-sized businesses.

Another £500,000 or more of UK cash is to be pledged to support balanced media coverage, women candidates and international presence during forthcoming elections.

There will also be help for Egyptian higher education, to promote political engagement, and for apprenticeships in the country.

But Mr Clegg will also call for a "clear and credible timetable" for the country's transition to democracy, the lifting of the emergency law and guarantees on human rights.

Speaking to political activists in the Egyptian capital, Mr Clegg will say: "I know many of you are worried that the momentum for change in Egypt is being lost.

"So I want to make it crystal clear that the UK will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you as we work together to help Egypt complete this journey."

He will say that the UK wants "a clear and credible timetable for transition, along with a lifting of the harsh and outdated emergency law.

"Security must be restored to the streets, and Egyptians deserve clear guarantees on human rights including women's rights."

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