Sheikh Abdullah meets Mubarak in Cairo

He was the first senior international diplomat to meet the leader since protests to his 30-year rule began two weeks ago.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets with Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan (R) in Cairo on February 8, 2011, as protests in the city continue for the 15th consecutive day calling for his resignation and an end to his regime. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI
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CAIRO // The Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak yesterday held talks with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was the first senior international diplomat to meet the leader since protests to his 30-year rule began two weeks ago.

Sheikh Abdullah's visit to Cairo showed "extraordinary political support" for Egypt, an Arab diplomat in the UAE said, in light of the security situation in the country.

It came a day after the US president, Barack Obama, called Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to discuss the situation in Egypt.

Gulf countries including the UAE have expressed concern over the threat to Egypt's stability and what they said was "foreign" meddling in the country.

"The UAE rejects all foreign attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of Egypt," Sheikh Mohammed said on Monday in comments published by WAM, the state news agency. He stressed that the transition in Egypt should be smooth and organised.