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EU calls for end to violence in Egypt, ready to provide assistance - Ashton

August 21, 2013, 23:35 UTC+3
The ministers agreed to review the issue of EU assistance to Egypt with an understanding that assistance to the most vulnerable groups and to civil society must continue
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

RABAT, August 21 (Itar-Tass) - The European Union urged all sides in Egypt to stop the violence and hostile rhetoric, Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said.

In an interview with Al Arabiya television on Wednesday, August 21, Ashton described the latest events in Egypt as “the very worrying developments”.

She spoke after an urgent meeting of the Council of the European Union at the level of foreign ministers, which “strongly condemned” all acts of violence and noted that the recent operations of the security forces were “disproportionate” voiced concern about the resulting alarming number of people who have been killed.

The ministers also condemned acts of terrorism such as the murder of policeman in Sinai, attacks on government installations, destruction of churches and mosques. “We call on all sides to stop the cycle of violence, the provocations and the hate speech,” Ashton said in a statement after the meeting.

“We want and urge all political parties to engage in a real and inclusive dialogue, to restore the democratic process, a national dialogue that can be open to all. Political groups should not be excluded as long as they renounce violence and respect democratic principles. Political reconciliation and working together is surely the right solution,” she said.

At the same time, the EU ministers stressed their support for the people of Egypt and said that “European Union has been and is supporting them in their quest for democracy, respect for human rights, social justice and of course economic prosperity. Egypt is a crucial partner country and our relationships with the people of Egypt matter enormously to us.”

The ministers agreed to review the issue of EU assistance to Egypt with an understanding that assistance to the most vulnerable groups and to civil society must continue.

However, the EU will suspend export licences to Egypt of any equipment used for internal repression and to reassess their export licences covered by the EU common position.

Ashton concluded by saying that “Egypt is a key partner of the European Union, we are ready to assist the people of Egypt as they go forward, I hope, in stability, inclusivity, democracy and prosperity. And we are ready to support a revived political dialogue which must of course be fully inclusive. And we will continue to follow the situation closely and stay in touch with the Member States of the European Union and the institutions as we work and move forward.”

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