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Ashton voices support to Egyptians ahead of constitutional referendum

EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton issues statement in support of all Egyptians and their will prior to the constitutional referendum slated for 14-15 Jan

Ahram Online, Sunday 12 Jan 2014
Ashton
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (Photo: AP)
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Views: 2392

European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton issued a statement Sunday, two days ahead of Egypt's constitutional referendum, to express the EU's support of the Egyptian people in fulfilling the aspirations of the January 2011 revolution.

The statement held that the EU stands by Egypt to achieve dignity, social justice, security, democracy, human rights and a better economy.

"The constitutional process – both before and following the referendum – could offer a chance for a new political dialogue and interaction leading to democratic elections, a fair representation of different political views in the future parliament, accountability for the government and state institutions, and greater security and prosperity for all," the statement read.

Ashton also condemned the terrorist attacks against Egypt and its people, adding that the EU will continue to offer Egypt full support.

Meanwhile, Ashton also said in the statement she is equally convinced that heavy-handed responses to the present crisis will not help secure Egypt's future and may seriously hamper freedoms of expression and association.

The statement ended with the EU wishing to see Egypt "as a partner sharing democratic values, respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, and as a neighbour with whom [to] share a common destiny and face together the many challenges of our time. Only confidence in the shared belief that Egypt is for all Egyptians working peacefully for the country's future can bring about a strong, vibrant and sustainable democracy and economy."

Egypt has seen an escalation in attacks against police and military targets, initially concentrated in the volatile Sinai Peninsula, near the border with Israel and the Gaza Strip, but recently spilling over into other areas of the country.

A suicide bomb attack in December killed 16 people in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, north of Cairo.

This week's referendum on the amended constitution, which will take place on January 14-15, marks the first time Egyptians head to the polls since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013, while also marking the first step in the implementation of the roadmap announced by Egypt's Army Chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on the same day.

It is also the sixth time Egyptians go to the polls since they rose up against the autocratic regime of former president Hosni Mubarak on 25 January 2011, forcing him out of office 18 days later.

Egyptian voters will be asked to cast Yes or No votes on the new 247-article constitution. Led by Amr Moussa, Egypt's former high-profile foreign minister and ex-secretary-general of the Arab League, the 50-Member Committee tasked with amending the 2012 constitution finalised a new draft on 1 December 2013. It then passed the charter to Interim President Adly Mansour 3 December.

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Barry
13-01-2014 09:32am
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Ashton interferes with Egypts democracy
I find it amazing that someone who has never been elected to anything in her life and is a member of one of the worst examples of democratic deficiency anywhere in thee world can consider she has any right to spout about other nations legal constitutions and methods of voting.
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Allen
12-01-2014 08:38pm
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This old bag is like a parasite that does not go away.
She needs a job that requires her to keep her incoherent and incosistent opinions to herself. No country that is trying to clense itself of home grown terrorists needs this annoying dame on the sidelines dishing out her nonsense.
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Aladdin, Egypt
12-01-2014 03:13pm
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Mind Your Business
Who asked you to middle in our affairs? Double talker!I know why you supported BH criminal group and now supporting genuine reforms in Egypt. Put up and shut up.
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Ruth
12-01-2014 08:30pm
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Mind you own Business
Mind you own Business madam,as it is our privillege how to repress our own people.You have no rights to raise finger if we kill our own people,torture our won people.Dont teach us lessons of human right, freedom of speech,expression,protest and free media, as all these are the empty slogans used by so called revolutionaries and Islamists to destablise the Egypt. If you wish support Egypt, you should provide us aids and money, it's ok..not your lectures.Long live Egyptain Army
Charlie
12-01-2014 08:27pm
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Mind your business
Well said Aladdin
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