Foreign firms return to Egypt as cabinet meet to resolve unrest

SEVERAL foreign companies operating in Egypt have reopened their offices and facilities today despite continued violence and bloodshed in the country.

General Motors and German chemicals firm BASF reopened facilities yesterday while Electrolux said it would partly resume operations today.

The Swedish home appliances manufacturing giant, which has nearly 7,000 employees in Egypt and around 10 production facilities on the outskirts of Cairo, suspended production in the country last week due to the unstable security situation.

More than 800 people have died since last Wednesday in clashes pitting followers of deposed President Mohamed Mursi against security forces in the worst political bloodletting to rock Egypt in recent history.

Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been arrested in recent days across Egypt in an effort to end weeks of protests and around 38 detainees died yesterday under disputed circumstances.

The army-backed cabinet met yesterday to discuss the crisis, with liberal deputy prime minister, Ziad Bahaa el-Din, advocating a conciliatory approach with an end to a state of emergency declared last week, and guarantees of human rights, including the right to free assembly.

Allister Heath is away