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28 Jan - 03 Feb 2011

European Union Foreign Ministers Call On Egypt to Avoid Violence

31 January 2011


At their meeting today in Brussels, the European Union foreign ministers issued an appeal for the Egyptian authorities to release peaceful demonstrators and avoid any further violence like that which has erupted in many Egyptian cities during the nearly week-long protests against President Hosni Mubarak. There is also concern over disturbances in Tunisia and other North African nations.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the EU foreign ministers expressed their profound disappointment over the loss of human life and the large number of people injured or arrested in Egypt. They want for human rights to be respected and protected by the authorities, including respect for freedom of assembly and free speech. “We wish for the Egyptian government to seek out a peaceful and constructive solution to the current situation—for them to enter into an open dialogue with all parties involved,” said Paet. He stated that it is essential for the media to have access and for the internet and phone connections to be restored.

The democratic endeavours of the Egyptian people must be supported, Paet added. The EU is encouraging Egypt to make democratic reforms that would adhere to all the principles of rule of law, human rights, and other basic freedoms, paving the way to free elections. Egypt is an important partner of the European Union and holds an important role in ensuring stability in the entire Mediterranean and Middle Eastern region.

The Estonian foreign minister stated that establishing peace and security would only be possible if the Egyptian government launches serious political, social and economic reforms that would quickly lead to a resolution for the issues of the country and its people.
 

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