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Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Tuesday thanked Prime Minister Koizumi for Japan’s agreement to provide yen loans up to 34.8 billion yen for a new museum project, a Foreign Ministry official said.

During a 20-minute meeting with Koizumi, Abul Gheit also warned Koizumi that it will take “a long period of time” to stabilize the political situation in Iraq, due to the sharply divided political forces there, the official told reporters.

Under the deal, the Grand Egyptian Museum will be built southwest of Cairo, replacing an old museum that holds 100,000 artifacts. The facility, scheduled to open in 2011, will be the world’s largest museum, according to the Egyptian government.

Asked about Egypt’s stance on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program during a news conference later in day, Abul Gheit said Egypt has been consistent in its position that no country in the region should possess nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, including Iran and Israel. He arrived in Japan on Monday for a two-day visit.