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Egypt's Morsi makes brief visit to Germany amid turmoil at home, concern over his direction

  • A man covers his face with a mask of Egypt President Mohammed Morsi during a protest in front of the chancellery against the visit of Morsi prior to a meeting of him with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)The Associated Press

  • The Egypt flag waves in front of the chancellery photographed between activists of the human rights organization Amnesty International with Nefertiti masks protesting against the visit of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi prior to a meeting of him with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)The Associated Press

Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi is making a brief visit to Germany amid turmoil at home and mounting concern abroad over the country's direction under the Islamist leader.

Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Morsi to her office Wednesday as he started his one-day visit. The president has shortened the trip, which originally was supposed to take him to France as well.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told ARD television that "strategic patience" is needed with Egypt, which he said is "the key country" for the success of change in the Arab world. But he said aid to the country depends on democratic progress.

Morsi took power as Egypt's first freely elected leader seven months ago. He has pushed through an Islamist-backed constitution but hasn't produced a program to salvage a crumbling economy.