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Ashton condemns violence in Tahrir Square; urges restraint

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton condemns the police brutality against protesters in Tahrir Square this weekend and places it into context that Egyptian elections are around the corner

Ahram Online, Monday 21 Nov 2011
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EU High Representative Catherine Ashton has released a statement to express her concern about the recent wave of violence in Egypt.

"I am extremely concerned at the riots and violent clashes witnessed in Egypt, notably in Tahrir Square over the weekend. I deplore the loss of life and the many injuries and express my solidarity with the families of the victims."

Ashton who is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, also condemned the use of violence and urged the authorities to listen to the demands of the people.

“I urge calm and restraint and condemn the use of violence in the strongest terms. There is no doubt that the transitional process is a difficult and challenging one,” Asthon said in the statement. “I have expressed my concern in the past about the emergency law and the ongoing military trials. I reiterate that the interim authorities and all parties concerned have the crucial task of listening to the people and protecting their democratic aspirations.”

Ashton also stressed that law and order must be regained in Egypt but only in a manner that is respectful of human rights.

“As Egypt prepares to go to the polls, in its first democratic and transparent elections, I remain confident that the Egyptian people and the authorities will find the way to move peacefully forward and succeed in overcoming the challenges.".

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